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Tuesday, 24th November 2020
6:39:36 am

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DEFINITION OF HEARTWOOD: The older harder nonliving central wood of trees that is usually darker, denser, less permeable, and more durable than the surrounding sapwood. It is the dead, central wood of trees. Its cells usually contain tannins or other substances that make it dark and sometimes fragrant. Heartwood is mechanically strong, resistant to decay, and less easily, or not at all, penetrated by wood-preservative chemicals than other types of wood. One or more layers of living and functional sapwood cells are periodically converted to heartwood.



Sapwood is the living, outermost portion of a woody stem or branch, while heartwood is the dead, inner wood, which often comprises the majority of a stem’s cross-section. You can usually distinguish sapwood from heartwood by its lighter color.
However, color in wood can be very misleading; not all heartwood is dark and not all dark-colored wood is heartwood. And, the relative amounts of sapwood and heartwood in any stem can vary greatly among individuals, species, and growing conditions. So, for a more accurate – and less specious – distinction, a more complete understanding is needed of what wood is and how both sapwood and heartwood form.

The outer, lighter colored wood is the sapwood. This is the "working" part of the tree, as water and sap will flow through the sapwood much like blood through your arteries, veins and capillaries. While this part of the trunk is vital to the tree when it is living, it doesn't make for very good stock for woodworking. Sapwood contains a lot of moisture, will shrink considerably when dried, and is much more susceptible to termites, bugs and fungus.

The inner, darker section of the trunk is the heartwood. Heartwood is formed from old, "retired" sapwood, and becomes the strong spine of the tree. Heartwood is preferred by woodworking companies, as it is far less susceptible to decay and fungus and doesn't contain nearly as much moisture as sapwood, which means it will shrink less when dried. In addition the heartwood of many wood species is termite resistant such as Bangkirai which we use for our elements which could be attacked by termites.

Typically there is less sapwood than heartwood in any given stem. The exception, of course, is in young trees and the youngest portions of stems and branches on older trees which – because they are young – are naturally dominated by sapwood. The proportion of heartwood to sapwood in the main stem does vary with species.  In general, more vigorously growing trees tend to have wider bands of sapwood.

The sapwood-heartwood distinction has important implications for woodworking companies beyond the obvious implications of color. In general only an expert can properly indicate the difference between sapwood and heartwood. The non-expert may apply some simple rules: Heartwood in genera lhas a darker color, the growth rings are closer together and the radii of these rings are smaller.   


Beam made from sapwood taken from a log with distinctive difference in color between sapwood and heartwood

Sap wood has lighter color and larger radii 



Beam made from heartwood taken from a log with distinctive difference in color between sapwood and heartwood

Heartwood wood has darker color and smaller radii



Beam made from sapwood taken from a log without distinctive difference in color between sapwood and heartwood

Sap wood has light color and larger radii 



Beam made from heartwood taken from a log without distinctive difference in color between sapwood and heartwood

Heartwood wood has light color but smaller radii


More information here: <termites and heartwood>

Reviews from Bali Prefab World

"I contacted Bali Prefabworld while looking for a suitable contractor to design and build a Joglo style structure above the existing flat roof of our house in Canggu. Bali. The builder we had used for the house had not installed the sealing membrane properly and we were plagued by leaks and had decided to build the additional structure to help keep the water out and give us some really nice additional space on top of the house looking at over the rice fields. "

I was very concerned about getting a proper design that was both strong enough to withstand the occasional high winds and not degrade the integrity our house – basically we did not want the Joglo to end up in the rice field and leave a big hole in the roof where it had been attached!

Bali Prefabworld was extremely professional in every aspect – they managed to design a structure that was strong, did what we wanted and looked good.

The installation went as planned and we are completely satisfied with the end result.

I would definitely use Bali Prefabworld again!

Review from: Don Silcock, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Project: Joglo roof
Date: 31-01-2016
Rating: 5 out of 5.

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