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Tyloses

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Tom:
This isn't exactly a Forestry question.  I'd like to hear what anybody has to say.

I have, over the years run into the term Tyloses which plug vertical pores in the xylem causing the wood to be water tight and useful for tight cooperage.  White oak has tyloses.  Red oak doesn't have tyloses, its pores are 'open'.

I have repeated the term to describe the differences in White and Red oak to customers and to describe dry and tight cooperage without ever knowing exactly what a tyloses is.

I have looked in books, talked to foresters, asked biology teachers, etc. and still don't know.  Some of them know of the term the same as I do but they don't know what it is.

What is it?  Is it a part of the tree or is it a mineral plug?  Is it a valve and if not how does liquid pass up the tree?  

I've heard that liquid also passes down the tree, if this is true, how would a valve work. (My education always taught me that it only went up.)

What is their purpose in nature?

Do they exist in parts of the tree other than the trunk and limbs?

Do all trees have them in some fashion or is it found only in deciduous trees.

How about Monocots?  Do Palms have structures like these?  Perhaps monocots are a totally different thing since, as I remember, they lack rings and, so I suppose, cambium.

:-/

Kevin:
This may help ...

http://courses.ncsu.edu/classes/wps202002/tyloses.htm

or

http://courses.ncsu.edu/WPS202/hardwood/tyloses.htm

Tom:
Yeah, that helps some.

According to that, tyloses are part of the development of heartwood.  That sounds as if the sapwood doesn't have tyloses or at least isn't plugged.  Now, I've been told that staves are rivved from the sapwood.  If that's the case, then the question arises.....are the vessels plugged?

On the other hand, if heartwood is used for staves, is the cooper fighting the normal tendencey for heartwood to be stiff and brittle?

I'm getting the picture of tyloses now but want to continue the conversation to learn about the results of their existance.  Got any ideas?

Thanks Kevin, you know what? My online dictionary doesn't even have the word 'tyloses' in it.
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In my search for education I have run up on two sites that describe Oak Wilt.  It seems to be a hot topic up there around the lakes so I'll leave them here in case anyone may be interested.

http://www.kundeco.com/oakwilt.htm

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/DD3174.html

timberbeast:
Tom,  tyloses isn't even in my mental,  dental or hygene dictionary,  but may explain the use of white oak for barrels.  To my knowledge,  simple as it may be,  coopering is a specialty craft done with specialized and handmade planes.  I believe they then filled the barrels with water to swell the pores,  as in many old wooden boats,  to seal the joints.  That is the extent of my meager knowledge.  I'll read the above links as time permits......interesting stuff!

Tom:
I had forgotten about soaking boats.  We used to use cypress boats and would sink them when we weren't using them.  Those sites said that tyloses are mostly a hardwood thing but I'm wondering if cypress heart has them.  Cypress heart doesn't give up it's water readily at all.

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