Logs of eastern red cedar, Juniperus virginiana L., with well-developed bands of light-colored wood ("included sapwood") within heartwood can be unsuitable for sawn wood products. This finding is in contrast to published information that the "included sapwood" is (1) a heartwood anomaly rather than sapwood and (2) its occurrence is not a reason to exclude this type of wood from commercial use. The alternative view presented here is that "included sapwood" is wound-initiated discolored wood which is the starting point for wood decay in living trees and which has adversely altered wood properties before the development of decay symptoms. Our study of the patterns of discoloration and decay, electrical resistance properties, elemental analysis, wood acidity, solubility in dilute NaOH, total phenol content, and tests of wood decay resistance indicated that the socalled included sapwood was discolored wood. This lightcolored discolored wood had no greater decay resistance than sapwood, a common finding in other tree species in which "included sapwood" is found.