AbstractAfter programmed cell death (PCD), heartwood formation, storage, and processing, wood DNA degradation occurs to varying degrees. The concentration and distribution of nuclei and plastids in xylem cells of Cunninghamia lanceolata and Aquilaria sinensis, treated under different conditions of processing and storing, were studied by analyzing the distribution frequency, area, and signal intensity, in specimens that had been stained with aceto-carmine, DAPI, and I2-KI. Most of the nuclei and plastids were present in the ray cells, and a small quantity of nuclei and plastids were present in the axial parenchyma cells. There was an indication that the concentration of the remaining nuclei and plastids in the xylem cells was mainly affected by the xylem heartwood formation, storage time, and temperature. The nuclei and plastids content of the sapwood was greater than that of the heartwood. However, the nuclei and plastids content of the fresh wood was greater than that of the processed and stored wood. An estimation of the quantity of nuclei and plastids using staining methods could provide a direct basis for the appropriate selection of a procedure for DNA extraction.