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 Libby Palmer, age 13, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, for her question:

WHY IS SANDALWOOD SO VALUABLE?

Sandalwood is valuable because it is rare. The wood actually comes from a number of species of trees that can be found only in southern India, Indonesia and Australia.

Sandalwood has straight grain. The wood is so heavy that it will barely float in water. The heartwood, or center, has a yellowish brown or orange color.

A fragrant odor from sandalwood is a result of an oil it contains.

Most sandalwood is shipped to China where it is used for carving and for incense in temples. The wood is well suited to making carved boxes, jewel cases, fans, combs and walking sticks.

Sandalwood oil is obtained by pressing the wood. The oil is used to make perfumes, cosmetics and certain medicines.

 

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