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The distribution of cortical resin canals and periderm formation in the cortex of Pinus thunbergii was studied in relation to early invasion of the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Nematode invasion was restricted in stem cuttings of P. thunbergii in which periderm closed cortical resin canals. Early invasion of the nematodes was also restricted in stem cuttings where wound periderm had formed in response to prior nematode inoculation. It was concluded that early invasion of pinewood nematodes in living bark tissue is restricted by periderm in mature stems and by wound periderm that had formed as the result of previous nematode infection.