heart·​wood | \ ˈhärt-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce heartwood (audio) \

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

Examples of heartwood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The problem is that fenceposts are often made of heartwood, which is the most resistant to the treatment process. Merle Henkenius, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make Your Own Picket Fence," 23 Oct. 2020 English brown oak comes from oaks that have been infected by the beefsteak fungus, Fistulina hepatica, which turns their heartwood brown. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, "The Art of Building the Impossible," 23 Nov. 2020 The workshop recently began using natural dyes for the first time; the browns and yellows in the broom come from walnuts and osage orange heartwood, both grown in the college’s nine-acre forest. Liz Logan, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Kentucky College Has Been Making Brooms for 100 Years," 26 Oct. 2020 Tannin in the trees' bark and heartwood give the redwoods their color and also act as a flame retardant, according to the Sempervirens Fund. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "How the ancient redwoods in California's oldest state park survive wildfires," 25 Aug. 2020 For decking that's 100 percent heartwood, consider construction heart redwood. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Choose The Right Material For Your Deck," 7 June 2020 The tree was diagnosed as having decayed heartwood and cannot be saved, Nelson said. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport to go ahead with cutting down three condemned Balboa Island trees initially spared the saw," 14 Oct. 2019 That is normal behavior for ancient yews; often the heartwood rots out, giving the elderly tree a lighter load to bear. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "U.K.’s Oldest Tree Is Being Besieged by Tourists," 21 June 2019 Tireless Henderson Islanders squaring off Pacific rosewood, adzes made from giant clamshells, chewing out chocolate shavings from the dark heartwood. Jonny Diamond, Longreads, "Lumbersexuality, a Sport and a Pastime," 8 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heartwood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of heartwood

circa 1575, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for heartwood

Time Traveler

The first known use of heartwood was circa 1575

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Statistics for heartwood

Last Updated

6 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heartwood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartwood. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for heartwood


heart·​wood | \ ˈhärt-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce heartwood (audio) \

Kids Definition of heartwood

: the usually dark wood in the center of a tree

More from Merriam-Webster on heartwood

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heartwood

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