Of Wings and Sapwood

This is the name of the story!  I had a hard time with the second word, because I wanted it to be part of a tree, and at first the logical choice seemed to be roots.  But besides sounding trite, it sounded predictable. 

So I researched “parts of a tree” and discovered the wonderful word heartwood:

As a tree grows, older xylem cells in the center of the tree become inactive and die, forming heartwood. Because it is filled with stored sugar, dyes and oils, the heartwood is usually darker than the sapwood. The main function of the heartwood is to support the tree.

Support the tree!  It shall be called Of Wings and Heartwood, and in addition to the reference to Jane’s strength we are rewarded with the reference to love.  But is sounded awkward.  I went back to the tree parts page.

Cambium: a tree’s growing layer; cells form here to form both bark and wood

This is Jane!  I cried.  Her strength and her scaly surface come from the same place.  Wait, what?  And it sounds silly.

The xylem, or sapwood, comprises the youngest layers of wood. Its network of thick-walled cells brings water and nutrients up from the roots through tubes inside of the trunk to the leaves and other parts of the tree. As the tree grows, xylem cells in the central portion of the tree become inactive and die. These dead xylem cells form the tree’s heartwood.

This is more like it.  This layer is what allows the tree to grow; sap flows, and everybody knows what it is.  (Everybody being a euphamism for my readers.)


Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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