Archive | 2:45 pm

Xylem and Phloem

2 May

I’ve seen my share of xylem and phloem around here lately. The trees below went down in storms years ago, and the one on the left is my bridge across the drainage ditch.  The goats like it too!

The blue spruce below went down in a storm last year.  Basically, xylem is the wood of a tree.

Both xylem and phloem make up the vascular system of a tree.  The xylem carry water and dissolved minerals from the roots to the rest of the tree, while phloem carry sugar from the leaves to the rest of the tree.

The xylem live for only one year, and new xylem are grown each year from the cambium.  The dead xylem are seen as the rings of a tree when it is cut down.

As the tree grows the inner rings of xylem become the heartwood, and the outer rings of xylem are sapwood.  New xylem are produced each year by the cambium.

The phloem, on the other hand, remain alive.  They create the inner layer of bark.

Xylem add strength to a tree.

Of course, certain insect infestations can bore into the tree and cause it to die.

There’s plenty of dead trees from insects (Redwood trees all died) and storms around here.  I hope I don’t see any new trees come down this year. 

Linking to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.  This week it’s all about the very challenging letter X.  I’m also linking this to Rural Thursday hosted by Nancy at A Rural Journal and Lisa at Two Bears Farm.