The oil in Palo Santo wood takes a very long time to develop! The trees themselves grow for decades. When a dead branch falls from the tree, it rests on the forest floor for 5 to 8 years while the resin slowly accumulates and matures. Only then can the aged heartwood with its high quality oil be harvested and hand cut into the traditional incense sticks. Trees that are cut down and harvested ‘alive’ do not, as a result, have time to develop the rich scent of the oil.
Always ensure that you are purchasing Palo Santo that is 100% authentic and natural, sustainably harvested from fallen wood. While the tree is currently not endangered (it’s listed as stable and of least concern on IUCN Red List), it could become so without careful management.