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late wood
The part of the wood in a growth ring of a tree that is produced later in the growing season. The cells of late wood are smaller and have thicker cell walls than those produced earlier in the season. Within a growth ring, the change of early wood to late wood is gradual, but each layer of early wood from the next growing season makes an abrupt contrast with the late wood before it, thus leading to the perception of rings. Compare early wood.


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