View Full Version : Identifying wood - Some Suggestions to Posters

8th Apr 2015, 06:02 PM
Identifying wood - Some Suggestions

Here are some suggestions that can make wood identification easier. (Even experts, or experienced wood handlers, can have trouble given all the best clues. Remember there are many thousands of woody species, even in Australia.)

Good pics of wood (close ups, in focus, with good retention of colour) with bark and end grain and if possible a radial section to see any rays. If its weathered or old a freshly cut surface is best.

Describe where it was growing or from where it came (the timber source) is sometimes helpful. An idea of density (high medium or low). One can calculate density from volume and weight D= M/V where D= density in g/cc, M = mass in grams and V= volume in cubic cms). If from a recently cut tree show some foliage, flowers or fruits always helps and always include something recognisable (coin, a can, tape measure) to show scale. Look for anything that looks unusual or distinctive about the wood or tree.

If a eucalypt or myrtle look for smell in foliage from leaf oils. Some woods have a distinctive odour too.

A subjective comment on “grain” or colour is not very helpful. Coarse med or fine wood texture can be of minor help.
Look for any obvious rays (end grain), lines radiating from centre / pith.

Getting a good reference book which give good wood descriptions is also helpful (eg Wood in Australia by KR Bootle).
Collect and keep reference samples of known woods for reference purposes.

Hope yoiu find this helpful and that it helps in future wood and tree identification. :)


8th Apr 2015, 07:33 PM
I have been a beekeeper since the early eighties and identifying trees and shrubs has been a keen interest of mine. If there are no flowers, fruits etc on the tree have a good look on the ground under the tree and it amazing at what you may find.

8th Apr 2015, 08:17 PM
Have asked the mods to make this thread a sticky so it's always at the top :2tsup: