In walking around the north side of my land here in Grayson County,
Va., and while looking for critters and various signs of spring, I
started noticing the differences in stumps all around me. This hill
was timbered about 28 years ago, just prior to our buying the land.
Some of the stumps are nearly gone, but as these two pictures reveal,
they are rotting in different ways.
As a general rule, coniferous trees rot from the outside in, due to
the toxins in their heartwood that repel fungi and insects. In
contrast, hardwoods typically rot from the inside out because their
resistant chemistry is contained instead in the sapwood.
Can you guess which is which from these pictures?