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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

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: 24-28 February 2014
Duration: One week 
Course venue: Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Gardens
Costs/Fees: £525 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.
  • Two days devoted to lectures and practical identification sessions concentrating on archaeological charcoal and waterlogged wood, root woods and decorative veneers and timbers.
  • Tours of the reference collection of microscope slides (Jodrell Laboratory) and wood collection (Economic Botany Collection).

Course tutors

Peter Gasson (Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) and Lucy Allott (Archaeology SE, University College London).

How to apply

For further details please contact: 

Dr Peter Gasson
Jodrell Laboratory
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Surrey TW9 3AB
Tel: 020 8332 5330