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Wood Identification Course

During the Wood Identification Course, participants will look at many different types of wood, and find out how to distinguish them using features of their cells and tissues visible only under the microscope.
A wood specimen underneath a microscope

Course details

During the Wood Identification Course, participants will look at many different types of wood, and find out how to distinguish them using features of their cells and tissues visible only under the microscope.

Scientists in Kew's Jodrell Laboratory study wood anatomy using light and electron microscopes. Their research pinpoints features of the wood that can be used to identify materials from a variety of sources, such as archaeological specimens, forensic samples or newly imported timbers. During this week-long identification of wood course they demonstrate effective methods of recognising the distinctive characteristics of woods from different tree species.

Course dates: 27 February – 3 March 2017
Duration: One week
Course venue: Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Course fee: £750 per person.

The fee covers registration pack and course materials, but not travel or accommodation, which must be booked by students themselves. Advice on accommodation can be supplied on request.

Who is the course designed for?

The course is designed for people working with wood: botanists, archaeologists, conservators, furniture and picture restorers, and workers in forensic science and allied professions.

Course content

The course will include the following:

  • Detailed study of wood structure for both hardwoods and softwoods using light microscopy. 
  • Methods used for the identification of wood including keys, tables, atlases, computer systems and comparison with authenticated material.
  • Lectures and practical identification sessions concentrating on archaeological charcoal and waterlogged wood, temperate and tropical timbers including those in international trade and covered by protective legislation such as CITES and EU Timber Regulations, decorative veneers and root anatomy.
  • Extensive use of the reference collection of microscope slides (Jodrell Laboratory) and a tour of the wood collection (Museum of Economic Botany).

Course Tutors: Peter Gasson (Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) and Lucy Allott (Archaeology South East, University College London)

Maximum number of participants: 10 

How to apply

For further details please contact: 

Dr Peter Gasson
Jodrell Laboratory
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond
Surrey TW9 3AB
UK
Tel: 020 8332 5330
Email: p.gasson@kew.org