Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Old Sap
Name: Unknown
Status: educator
Grade: K-3
Location: CT
Country: N/A
Date: 9/25/2005


Question:
One of my students asks where the "old sap" goes. What should I tell him?


Replies:
Sapwood carries water and food (nutrients) up and down the tree. The old sapwood becomes heartwood.

http://www.woodmagic.vt.edu/html/Activities/wpa4.htm

Sap flows up to the leaves in the spring, and in the autumn, the sap flows downward to the roots to store the nutrients there.

http://www.michigan.gov/scope/0,1607,7-155-13497_13503_13506-43949--,00.html

http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/chf/pub/tree_kit/teacher/lespl1.html

Anthony Brach Ph.D.


This explanation should start with the function of sap in the tree, that it is the water that conducts dissolved minerals and other growth products up and down between leaves and other parts of the plant. Sap is there all the time the tree is actively photosynthesizing and growing, and never really gets old and "goes" anywhere. At the end of the growing season the tree stops taking up water and thus sap is no longer present

J. Elliott


The simplest and most straight forward reply would be that sap moves more like a circulatory system so there is really no "old sap". By contrast, water moves in a single direction--usually from the roots to the shoots.

Jim Tokuhisa



Click here to return to the Botany Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory