Identification of wood species

The determination of the botanical species / genus of the plant that formed the wood is based on the comparison of a feature spectrum with known reference material. These are obtained from xylotheques with already determined wood samples. In the process, blocks are prepared in the three sectional planes (transverse, tangential, radial) and either the surfaces are observed in incident light (optical microscope, electron microscope) or colored thin sections are examined in transmitted light. Anatomical elements (certain cell types, resin channels, traumatic formations, fine details such as dots, reinforcements or perforations) are observed and documented for their presence, arrangement or number. The so obtained spectra are compared with the spectrum of the sample to be identified. A statistically high similarity results in the determination.

The determinability (safety or level of nomenclature) of some samples may be limited by the biological variation range, maintenance or preparation artefacts or lack of differentiation between species / genera on anatomical level.