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What is Sapwood?

SapwoodSapwood is the outer layer of a branch or limb that is still living. It is usually lighter in color and is very moist.

Sapwood is the living part of a tree where the sap and water flow. All wood initially grows as sapwood. As the tree ages, the innermost layers of sapwood turn to heartwood, which is no longer living and does not transport nutrients. Sapwood usually has a lighter color than the heartwood that it surrounds. It is also high in moisture due to the steady movement of sap and water. Sapwood is not ideal for many woodworking projects due to its high moisture content. The moisture in the sapwood causes the wood to shrink as it dries, and it also makes the wood more susceptible to decay and fungus. However, sapwood can be used on small areas of projects or on pieces that will be thoroughly coated in polyurethane or paint.

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