The increasing development of the wood as the tree grows older is largely due to the demands for the conduction of water and mineral matters dissolved in it, which are made by the increased number of leaves which from year to year it bears, and which must each be put into communication with the central mass by the formation of new vascular bundles.
After making its way into the interior, the intruder sets up a considerable hyper trophy of the tissue, causing the formation of a tubercle, which soon shows a certain differentiation, branches of the vascular bundles of the root being supplied to it.
They are supplied with a regular system of conducting vascular bundles communicating with those of the roots.
The arrangement of the conducting tissue in the stem is characteristic; a transverse section of the very young stem shows a nunber of distinct conducting strands - vascular bundles - arranged in a ring round the pith; these soon become united to form a closed ring of bast and wood, separated by a layer of formative tissue (cambium).
The water taken up by the root from the soil contains nitrogenous and mineral salts which combine with the first product of photo-synthesis - a carbohydrate - to form more complicated nitrogen-containing food substances of a proteid nature; these are then distributed by other elements of the vascular bundles (the phloem) through the leaf to the stem and so throughout the plant to wherever growth or development is going on.