False-colour SEM of oak heartwood.

False-colour SEM of oak heartwood.

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a horizontal section through oak heartwood, the wood (secondary xylem) of the tree Quercus robur. The image shows the cut end of a tracheary vessel which has become blocked by papery bladder-like ingrowths known as tyloses (yellow). In young sapwood the vessels carry water & nutrients from the roots to the leaves, but after a few years they become blocked & no longer carry sap. Large vessels like this occur in early (spring) wood; late-wood vessels are much smaller. The tissue surrounding the vessel is wood parenchyma, an unspecialised matrix tissue. Oak is classified as a hardwood. Magnification: x100 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: botany, false-coloured, hardwood, heartwood, nature, oak, plant, plants, quercus robur, tylose, vessel, wood

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