The heartwood occupies:
In very old trees, the greater part of secondary xylem is dark brown due to deposition of organic compounds like tannins, resins, oils, gums, aromatic substances and essential oils in the central or innermost layers of the stem. These substances make it hard, durable and resistant to the attacks of microorganisms and insects. This region comprises dead elements with highly lignified walls and is called heartwood. The heartwood does not conduct water but it gives mechanical support to the stem.