Wood Identification Guide

by Eric Meier

When attempting to identify a wood sample, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations and obstacles that are present in our task. Before starting, please have a look at The Truth Behind Wood Identification to approach the task in a proper mindset; I consider the linked article to be required reading for all those visiting my site with the intent of identifying wood.

1. Confirm it is actually solid wood.

Before proceeding too much farther into the remaining steps, it’s first necessary to confirm that the material in question is actually a solid piece of wood, and not a man-made composite or piece of plastic made to imitate wood.

A solid piece of Cocobolo: note how the grain naturally wraps around the sides and endgrain of the wood.

Can you see the end-grain? 

Manufactured wood such as MDF, OSB, and particleboard all have a distinct look that is—in nearly all cases—easily distinguishable from the endgrain of real wood. Look for growth rings—formed by the yearly growth of a tree—which will be a dead-giveaway that the wood sample in question is a solid, genuine chunk of wood taken from a tree.

Viewing the end of this “board” reveals its true identity: particleboard.

Is it veneered? 

If you see a large panel that has a repeating grain pattern, it may be a veneer. In such cases, a very thin layer of real wood is peeled from a tree and attached to a substrate; sometimes the veneer can be one continuous repeating piece because it is rotary-sliced to shave off the veneer layer as the tree trunk is spun by machines. Assuming it is a real wood veneer with a distinct grain and texture—and not merely a piece of printed plastic—you may still be able to identify the outer veneer wood in question, but you should still realize that is it only a veneer and not a solid piece of wood.

Large repeating patterns suggest a veneer.

Is it painted or printed to look like wood? 

Many times, especially on medium to large-sized flat panels for furniture, a piece of particleboard or MDF is either laminated with a piece of wood-colored plastic, or simply painted to look like wood grain. Many of today’s interior hardwood flooring planks are good examples of these pseudo-wood products: they are essentially a man-made material made of sawdust, glues, resins, and durable plastics.

2. Look at the color.

Some questions to immediately ask yourself:

Is the color of the wood natural, or is it stained?

If there is even a chance that the color isn’t natural, the odds are increased that the entire effort of identifying the wood will be in vain.

The reddish brown stain used on this piece of Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) has been planed away on top, exposing the paler color of the raw wood underneath.

Is it weathered or have a patina?

Many woods, when left outside in the elements, tend to turn a bland gray color. Also, even interior wood also takes on a patina as it ages: some woods get darker, or redder, and some even get lighter or lose their color; but for the most part, wood tends to darken with age.

Fresh sanding near the end of this Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) board has exposed the characteristic yellow coloration of the wood, which has a strong tendency to shift down to a golden brown over time.

Is it possible to sand or plane the board to see the natural raw color of the wood?

The most predictable baseline to use when identifying wood is in a freshly sanded state. This eliminates the chances of a stain or natural aging skewing the color diagnosis of the wood.

3. Observe the wood grain.

If the wood is unfinished, then look at the texture of the grain. Ask yourself these questions:

Does the wood have an open, porous texture?

Most softwoods will be almost perfectly smooth with no grain indentations, while many common hardwoods have an open pore structure, such as oak or mahogany; though there are some hardwoods that are also smooth to the touch, such as maple.

Can you tell if the wood is quartersawn or plainsawn?

By observing the grain patterns, many times you can tell how the board was cut from the tree. Some wood species have dramatically different grain patterns from plainsawn to quartersawn surfaces. For instance, on their quartersawn surfaces, lacewood has large lace patterns, oak has flecks, and maple has the characteristic “butcher block” appearance.

Is there any figure or unusual characteristics, such as sapwood, curly or wild grain, burl/knots, etc.?

Some species of wood have figure that is much more common than in other species: for example, curly figure is fairly common in soft maple, and the curls are usually well-pronounced and close together. Yet when birch or cherry has a curly grain, it is more often much less pronounced, and the curls are spaced farther apart.

Curly Maple (sealed)
The strong, tight curl seen in this wood sample is very characteristic of Maple (Acer spp.).

4. Consider the weight and hardness of the wood.

If it’s possible, pick the piece of wood up and get a sense of its weight, and compare it to other known wood species. Try gouging the edge with your fingernail to get a sense of its hardness. If you have a scale, you can take measurements of the length, width, and thickness of the wood, and combine them to find the density of the wood. This can be helpful to compare to other density readings found in the database. When examining the wood in question, compare it to other known wood species, and ask yourself these questions:

Is the wood dry?

Wood from freshly felled trees, or wood that has been stored in an extremely humid environment will have very high moisture contents. In some freshly sawn pieces, moisture could account for over half of the wood’s total weight! Likewise, wood that has been stored in extremely dry conditions of less than 25% relative humidity will most likely feel lighter than average.

How does the wood’s weight compare to other species?

Taking into account the size of the board, how does its weight compare to other benchmark woods? Is it heavier than oak? Is it lighter than pine? Look at the weight numbers for a few wood species that are close to yours, and get a ballpark estimate of its weight.

A piece of Lignum Vitae is weighed on a small digital scale.

How hard is the wood? 

Obviously softwoods will tend to be softer than hardwoods, but try to get a sense of how it compares to other known woods. Density and hardness are closely related, so if the wood is heavy, it will most likely be hard too. If the wood is a part of a finished item that you can’t adequately weigh, you might be able to test the hardness by gouging it in an inconspicuous area. Also, if it is used in a piece of furniture, such as a tabletop, a general idea of its hardness can be assessed by the number and depth of the gouges/dings in the piece given its age and use. A tabletop made of pine will have much deeper dents than a tabletop made of Oak. Additionally, you can always try the “fingernail test” as a rough hardness indicator:  find a crisp edge of the wood, and with your fingernail try to push in as hard as you can and see if you’re able to make a dent in the wood.

5. Consider its history.

Many times we forget common sense and logic when attempting to identify wood. If you’ve got a piece of Amish furniture from Pennsylvania, chances are more likely that the wood  will be made of something like black walnut or cherry, and not African wenge or jatoba. You might call it “wood profiling,” but sometimes it can pay to be a little prejudiced when it comes to wood identification. Some common-sense questions to ask yourself when trying to identify a piece of wood:

Where did it come from?

Knowing as much as you can about the source of the wood—even the smallest details—can be helpful. If the wood came from a wood pile or a lumber mill where all the pieces were from trees processed locally, then the potential species are immediately limited. If the wood came from a builder of antique furniture, or a boat-builder, or a trim carpenter: each of these occupations will tend to use certain species of woods much more often than others, making a logical guess much simpler.

Despite its discoloration and wear, it’s very likely that this rolling pin is made of hard maple.

How old is it?

As with the wood’s source, its age will also help in identification purposes. Not only will it help to determine if the wood should have developed a natural patina, but it will also suggest certain species which were more prevalent at different times in history. For instance, many acoustic guitars made before the 1990s have featured Brazilian rosewood backs/sides, yet due to CITES restrictions placed upon that species, East Indian rosewood became a much more common species on newer guitars. (And this is a continuing shift as newer replacements are sought for rosewoods altogether.)

How large is the piece of wood?

Some species of trees are typically very small—some are even considered shrubs—while others get quite large. For instance, if you see a large panel or section of wood that’s entirely black, chances are it’s either painted, dyed, or stained: Gaboon ebony and related species are typically very small and very expensive.

What is the wood’s intended use?

Simply knowing what the wood was intended for—when considered in conjunction with where it came from and how old it is—can give you many clues to help identify it. In some applications, certain wood species are used much more frequently than others, so that you can make an educated guess as to the species of the wood based upon the application where it was used. For instance, in the United States: many older houses with solid hardwood floors have commonly used either red oak or hard maple; many antique furniture pieces have featured quartersawn white oak; many violins have spruce tops; many closet items used aromatic red cedar, and so forth. While it’s not a 100% guarantee, “profiling” the wood in question will help reduce the number of possible suspects, and aid in deducing the correct species.

6. Find the X-Factor.

Sometimes, after all the normal characteristics of a sample have been considered, the identity of the wood in question is still not apparent. In these instances—particularly in situations where a sample has been narrowed down to only a few possible remaining choices—it’s sometimes helpful to bring in specialized tests and other narrower means of identification.

The following techniques and recommendations don’t necessarily have a wide application in initially sorting out wood species and eliminating large swaths of wood species, but will most likely be of use only as a final step in special identification circumstances.

Odor

Believe it or not, freshly machined wood can have a very identifiable scent. When your eyes and hands can’t quite get a definitive answer, sometimes your nose can. Assuming there is no stain, finish, or preservative on or in the wood, quickly sand, saw, or otherwise machine a section of the wood in question, and take a whiff of the aroma.

Although new scents can be very difficult to express in words, many times the scent of an unknown wood may be similar to other known scents. For instance, rosewoods (Dalbergia spp.) are so named for their characteristic odor that is reminiscent of roses. Although difficult to directly communicate, with enough firsthand experience scents can become a memorable and powerful means of wood identification.

Fluorescence

While certain woods can appear basically identical to one another under normal lighting conditions, when exposed to certain wavelengths—such as those found in blacklights—the wood will absorb and emit light in a different (visible) wavelength. This phenomenon is known as fluorescence, and certain woods can be distinguished by the presence or absence of their fluorescent qualities. See the article Fluorescence: A Secret Weapon in Wood Identification for more information.

Black Locust: fluorescence (under blacklight)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) glows a bright yellow-green when placed under a blacklight.

Chemical Testing

There are only a small number of chemical tests regularly used on wood, most of which are very specialized and were developed to help distinguish easily confused species with one another. They work by detecting differences in the composition of heartwood extractives. A chemical substance (called a reagent) is usually dissolved in water and applied to the wood surface: the surface is then observed for any type of chemical reaction (and accompanying color change) that may occur. Two of the most useful are the tests that are meant to separate Red and White Oak, and Red and Hard Maple.

Heartwood Extractives Leachability

Sometimes a wood species will have heartwood extractives that will be readily leachable in water and capable of conspicuously tinting a solution of water a specific color. For instance, the heartwood extractives contained in osage orange (Maclura pomifera) contain a yellowish-brown dye that is soluble in water. (This can sometimes be observed anecdotally when the wood is glued with a water-based adhesive: the glue’s squeeze-out is an unusually vibrant yellow.)

In a simple water extract color test, wood shavings are mixed with water in a vial, test tube, or other suitably small container, and the color of the water is observed after a few minutes. If the heartwood extractives are leachable by water, then a corresponding color change should quickly occur.

In addition to osage orange (Maclura pomifera)merbau (Intsia spp.), and rengas (Gluta spp. and Melanorrhoea spp.) are also noted for their readily leachable heartwood extractives. Because this property is quite uncommon, it can serve to quickly differentiate these woods from other lookalikes.

7. Look at the endgrain.

Perhaps no other technique for accurate identification of wood is as helpful and conclusive as the magnified examination of the endgrain. Frequently, it brings the identification process from a mostly intuitive, unscientific process into a predictable, repeatable, and reliable procedure.

Looking at the endgrain with a magnifier shouldn’t be a mystifying or esoteric art. In many cases, it’s nearly as simple as examining small newsprint under a magnifying glass. There are three components necessary to reap the full benefits contained in the endgrain:

I. A prepared surface.

When working with wood in most capacities, it becomes quickly apparent that endgrain surfaces are not nearly as cooperative or as easily worked as face grain surfaces. However, in this case, it is absolutely critical that a clear and refined endgrain surface is obtained.

For a quick glance of a softwood sample, a very sharp knife or razor blade can be used to take a fresh slice from the endgrain. However, in many denser species, especially in tropical hardwoods, one of the best ways to obtain a clear endgrain view is through diligent sanding. It’s usually best to begin with a relatively smooth saw cut (as from a fine-toothed miter saw blade) and proceed through the grits, starting at around 100, and working up to at least 220 or 320 grit, preferably higher for the cleanest view.

II. The right magnifier.

It need not be expensive, but whatever tool is used to view the endgrain should have adequate magnifying power. In most instances, 10x magnification is ideal, however, anything within the range of 8 to 15x magnification should be suitable for endgrain viewing. (Standard magnifying glasses are typically in the range of 2 to 4x magnification.)

These stronger magnifiers, sometimes called loupes, usually have a smaller viewing area than standard magnifying glasses. Fancier models—with built in lights, or larger viewing surfaces—are available at a premium; but the most basic models are usually only a few dollars.

amazon-button
amazon-button

III. A trained eye.

The third element that constitutes a proper endgrain examination is simply knowing what to look for. In analyzing the patterns, colors, shapes, and spacing of the various anatomical features, there is a veritable storehouse of information within the endgrain—all waiting to be unlocked. Yet, if these elements have not been pointed out and learned, the array of features will simply seem like an unintelligible jumble. The discipline of recognizing anatomical endgrain features is not easily summed up in a few sentences or even a few paragraphs, but it is nonetheless critical to the identification process. To this end, an in-depth look should be given to the various categories, divisions, and elements that constitute endgrain wood identification on the macroscopic level. (In this regard, macroscopic denotes what can be seen with a low-powered, 10x hand lens—without the aid of a microscope—rather than simply what can be seen with the naked eye.) Because the anatomy between softwoods and hardwoods is so divergent, each will be considered and examined separately:

Still stumped?

If you have a mysterious piece of wood that you’d like identified, you’ve got a few options for next steps:

USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory

You can mail your physical wood samples to the Center for Wood Anatomy Research

Pros:

  • Free
  • Professional wood identification

Cons:

  • Only available to US citizens
  • Slow turnaround times (up to a month or more)
  • Limited to three IDs per year

See their Wood ID Factsheet for more info.

Alden Identification Service

You can mail your physical wood samples (even small sections taken from antiques) to Alden Identification Service.

Pros:

  • Professional wood identification
  • Faster turnaround times (ranging from a few days to a week or two)

Cons:

  • Paid service

See their ordering page for more info. (Note that Harry Alden has written several books while at USDA, including both Hardwoods and Softwoods of North America.)

Ask for help online

If the wood ID is merely a curiosity, or non-critical, you can post pictures of the wood in question.

Pros:

  • Free
  • No need to send physical samples

Cons:

  • Greatly limited by the quality of the pictures provided
  • Extra work usually required to get adequate clarity in photos

See article of Common US Hardwoods to help find the most commonly used woods.

Get the hard copy

wood-book-standupIf you’re interested in getting all that makes The Wood Database unique distilled into a single, real-world resource, there’s the book that’s based on the website—the Amazon.com best-seller, WOOD! Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide. It contains many of the most popular articles found on this website, as well as hundreds of wood profiles—laid out with the same clarity and convenience of the website—packaged in a shop-friendly hardcover book.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3.4K Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dianne

I wonder if you would be able to identify the wood in this chair? I believe it is old and likely from England. Thank you for your time.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Canada
il_794xN.2368548975_k987.jpg
il_794xN.2320959276_h6gs.jpg
Dianne

Looks like I double posted this question. Sorry about that.
I would really appreciate any answer, I know they sometimes used two types of wood because the very hard woods would not bend into the balloon shape.

Dianne

I would like to know what kind of wood my chair is made from – I am in Canada but I am not sure where the chair originated. Any thoughts?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
beats me.... England?
il_794xN.2320959276_h6gs.jpg
il_794xN.2368548975_k987.jpg
Karin Tremblay

Hi I am about to refinish a table and 4 chairs. I just realized they are obviously different wood. Can you help me?

Thank you so much!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
MA
D29A4720-0414-45E2-BA72-3C1C6D00CC61.jpeg
B4279EF8-C582-4F5E-B1EB-542C16D392DC.jpeg
Karin Tremblay

This is what the wood looks like after sanding down to the grain. Thank you so much for you help!

Neil

Any idea what this is? It’s the staircase in a house that I’ve just bought

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Uk
C4D1738E-2E33-4B35-9876-E433BF3C0805.jpeg
E895BB95-7337-4556-9231-A1A30F64111C.jpeg
Neil

Hi Eric. Any thoughts on what wood this is please?

Dewi Spence

Trying to figure out if this is real wood, and if so, what type. Thanks in advance for your help.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
FL
20210412_Media cabinet door.jpg
20210412_media cabinet top.jpg
Dewi Spence

Much appreciated… thank you!

Rares Laris Marhao

Hello, it’s a old chair, and i’m doing a project about it and i just can’t figure what exactly is. I think its medium to light wood, isn’t that heavy.

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Roma
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-21 at 21.07.21.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-21 at 21.07.21 (1).jpeg
David

Hello, please help with identifying the attached wood. The cupboard was probably made about 100 years ago in central Europe. Thank you in advance.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Czech Republic
20210421_102644[1].jpg
20210421_102701[1].jpg
20210421_102601[1].jpg
Alisa

i found this at a woodworking please. can someone help identify it?i need it for a school project, thank you in advance

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
?
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-19 at 12.57.58.jpeg
Matt

Looks like a Maple, possibly spalted.

Emily

My house was built in the 20s, the doors and trim all look like they’re made of the same wood. They’ve been thoroughly scratched over the years, so I am sanding them down and putting new stain on. Any idea what kind of wood it is from the photos? Two full doors are after sanding, and the other two closeups show the grain with a stain on it.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
New York
door1.jpeg
door2.jpeg
door3.jpeg
door4.jpeg
Leslie

Hi I bought a swing of a certain type of wood but my father in-law said I did not get what I paid for. It has been treated with oil.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
South east
image.jpg
Mark

Thanks for your help identifying the wood in this table top. This is a custom made top, likely made on the west coast but found it’s way to Oregon, It’s about 1.25 inch thick and very heavy (also very big). It appears to have an oil finish.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Oregon
IMG_20210210_123443615.jpg
IMG_20210415_174740873.jpg
rick masters

hi, we are trying to identify our baseboards & door moldings. Probably installed late 70’s or during the 80’s. Couldn’t identify any distinctive wood odors after a light sanding. Attached pics of unstained side, sawn end, cracked end. Thanks

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Alberta
IMG_3831.JPG
IMG_3835.JPG
IMG_3836.JPG
rick masters

while no one has offered any comments on-line, someone else suggested to me this might be Hemlock? Any thoughts on that? thanks

Sue koch

What type of wood do you think this is? Part of an old chest that appears to be a blanket chest

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
USA Midwest
B2315555-E123-4145-8AEA-521FE5A78E27.jpeg
D63AF1A8-E799-40F0-BC13-931F8C8B1501.jpeg
Clay

Thank you for any help you can provide identifying this. It’s from a late 60’s/early 70s end table that had been painted. I sanded the paint off, but am not good at identifying the wood.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Southeast United States
thumbnail_IMG_6585.jpg
Brandy J Billington

Just purchased this home and trying to determine the wood type of these 70yr floors in Arkansas. Any thoughts?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
AR
house floors.jpg
house floor.jpg
Turtle

Hi I have a old VW camper I’m fixing up and the cabinets are completely ruined from water damage, I want to make new cabinets using hardwood plywood but don’t have a clue what type of wood they’re trying to mimic.

Thank you in advance

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
unknown
20210413_123208.jpg
Turtle

thank you very much

Rachel Dooris

Are these floorboards also pine?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Glasgow Scotland
5A14D186-2569-4B5E-BF81-8D038939C794.jpeg
Rachel Dooris

Thank you again, Eric

Rachel Dooris

are These floorboards pine?

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Glasgow, Scotland
AEC6A4BC-2108-4953-B9C3-52C52FAE3799.jpeg
David Lynn Williams

I own this office divider that I estimate to be from the 1940’s with ribbed glass partitions. The wood is core, not plywood or veneer. I’d love to identify the type of wood in this unique piece. Thanks!

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
AL
MCM office divider 1.jpg
MCM office divider 3.jpg
Michael Garofalo

This is a very heavy desk purchased in the early 50’s by my wifes grandfather in Ojai California. The desk was manufactured by Derby Desk of Boston, Massachusetts. It is very hard wood, my fingrrnail cannot scratch it at all. Thank you in advance for your help in identifying this wood species.

Michael Garofalo

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Southern California
20210412_121313.jpg
Michael Garofalo

That would be white oak?

Michael Garofalo

Thank you vrry much for the help.

Jessy

Hello! I am sanding my stairs and we need to find a stain that will go with our new white oak floors. My husband and I are trying to find what type of wood our stairs are. Its quite difficult ? Any ideas, it will really help! Thank you so much ?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
North America
image.jpg
image.jpg
Jessy

Sorry for the “?” in my previous msg.
I don’t know how they got there ?.
Your help is really appreciated thank you!

Helen

Are these floors Brazilian cherry? Thanks!

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Alberta
F983F94F-A7AC-4539-B08C-C71BFA2D89FF.jpeg
Kristin

Hi Eric, do you know what type of wood this is? White oak or walnut veneer maybe? I’ve attached pictures of it originally and after I sanded it down a bit. Any idea? Thank you in advance for your help!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
New York
02.png
03.jpg
05.jpg
06.jpg
Kristin

Thank you!

Todd

Making this into a end/coffee table. Where she bought they didn’t tell her the wood species and I am only good at telling walnut and pine. Any idea?

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Iowa
Ricky Wright

Anyone know what type of wood this is? I think its a hardwood but its not really heavy like teak/oak etc. It’s not very light – I’d say average weight??? I’m thinking of using it as a ‘compression post’ to add structural support vertically with the grain… but don’t know what type of wood it is to check ‘crushing strength’. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Cheers, Ricky

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Northern Ireland
Ricky Wright

Have to upload the pics individually

IMG_5223.jpg
Ricky Wright

Have to upload the pics individually

IMG_5228.jpg
Ricky Wright

Have to upload the pics individually!

IMG_5229.jpg
Ricky Wright

I got it from a hardwood specialist that had went bust… a number of 10ft lengths, but had no idea of the specific type of hardwood. The photos on this website for Paldao definitely look the closest. It seems to have fairly decent structural capability – would it work as a vertical ‘stiffening’ support?
Paldao Crushing Strength: 6,990 lbf/in2 (48.2 MPa)

Ricky Wright

A friend has suggested that this might be Meranti or possibly some type of Walnut. Either way, if its definitely a hardwood – will it have a high level of crushing strength to be used to provide vertical structural stability? Thanks!

Andy zadrozny

Can you tell me what wood this is?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
New mexico
AC9265AB-CBB4-4C8A-A701-964E761C641A.jpeg
CBD0BF5B-36FD-4F6D-83B9-199850C96C15.jpeg
60F9337D-049D-4419-8335-5FFDE7D7FF77.jpeg
Alec

Trying to determine what type of tree this wood is from

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Not sure. It’s something not in my possession that I’m looking at purchasing
DA80EB96-48CC-4854-AA36-941B51954E74.png
Debbie Leite-Silva

Not sure what type of wood this is

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Canada
E27D3C51-EF7F-45E0-A531-812D36916DEB.jpeg
7A592655-10EE-47C9-B241-2CA3793C8363.jpeg
Tim

Hi Eric, I found a very unique dining table but I am not familiar with one of the woods used. I believe the thin inlay/banding is likely cherry or mahogany. The main wood on the trestle/legs appears to be satin wood. It is the wood that makes up the large band around the tabletop and the feet that I need help identifying. Thanks.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Pacific Northwest
EC170ACE-5669-48B9-A6A1-6517249653E5.jpeg
450EC7B2-5CF6-464F-BB59-69B8381C2FAD.jpeg
Mary F McDougall

Hello, Eric Meier,
Thank you for taking a look at this bowl. I wonder if you will please help me identify this wood?
Large wood pedestal bowl. 13.5 x 13.5 and 12 pounds
Appreciatively,
Mary

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
AZ
1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
7.jpg
Mary F McDougall

Thank you so much for your reply and sharing your expertise. It is a very kind gesture. Be well and take care.

Sherry

Can someone PLEASE help me identify this type of wood? This footstool had a matching chair, handmade from 1940, in a cabin on Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina mtns north of Tucson. It is extremely heavy, more so than any solid oak furniture I inherited from grandparents. Thought it might be mesquite because of the yellowish ring around outside. Really appreciate any input!! Thank you!

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
IA
20210325_223813.jpg
20210325_223752.jpg
20210325_224020.jpg
AMY

Any ideas on this desk I bought at an estate sale? It’s extremely heavy. The drawers are made with solid wood, but the outside appears to have a decorative veneer on it.

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
PA
PXL_20210327_184005925.jpg
PXL_20210327_184037223.jpg
PXL_20210327_184044578.jpg
AMY

Thank you! That was my guess as well. So helpful to have a second opinion. Appreciate you!

Mark

Ash

Lynn

Hello,
I have a client that inherited this credenza and chairs from her grandmother and would like me to strip and stain to match a reclaimed table she purchased… She sent me these pictures. She’s not sure of the wood species. Alder? I want to be sure to know before I choose my stain. Thank you for any guidance!

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Northeast New England
Jennie Hettrick

Second floor. First floor & stairs. Underside of first floor. (Sorry. These pictures go with my previous post asking about the type of wood)

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Kentucky
9171215B-DE1B-42F2-99AF-3A090EC03487.jpeg
69B83BED-6770-41FB-AC9F-4125AA5EC93D.jpeg
444DD939-BBFD-4C85-9487-D383032EC221.jpeg
Jennie

Thank you

Óscar

Can you help me identify the wood type? The furniture itself is quite heavy.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Spain
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-26 at 18.53.17 (1).jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-26 at 18.53.17 (2).jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-26 at 18.53.17.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-26 at 18.53.18 (2).jpeg
Óscar

Thank you for your answer. Here there are some closeups.

q (1).jpeg
q (2).jpeg
q (3).jpeg
Mark

Looks like poplar

Melody

hi! Can you help me identify this wood? this is a bedroom suite that I purchased from a small unfinished wood furniture store in 2008. It was the only finished furniture in the store. The man said that the owner had it imported from India for himself but his wife hated it so he put it there to sell instead of using it. I was told that it was from a rare tree in India. It’s extremely heavy, I can’t even lift one nightstand by myself and it took 4 men to carry my dresser, headboard, and armoire inside, two… Read more »

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
India? I am located in the US though.
6F3844F4-95BA-401C-BFA5-C8DF3E66B031.jpeg
Brian

Here is a pic of the same tank where I shaved off a splinter

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
South Georgia
C7BA5E9B-C3D3-4E19-A4A2-AB95585E28EF.jpeg
Brian

I am about to leave reclaim the wood from these 80+ year old water tanks in South Georgia. Looks like Cyprus to me. Any ideas?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
South Georgia
108E47D1-7490-4966-A445-64110FC74CFA.jpeg
Pete

My partner started sanding this mission brown paint off this second hand bed and found this beautiful timber grain. It has old slotted screws and dowl joints. What do you think it is

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Australia
62F16C80-2279-4B23-9D01-6CFFED614BE1.jpeg
88998D2F-919C-44A0-910C-5C88FBA19DBD.jpeg
Pete

Here are some better pictures

968763C8-75F0-4BFD-AEB0-05E5CDF9D2AA.jpeg
A206A08F-8560-4532-95E2-C243BCDE388A.jpeg
Betty

Trying to match stairs to our rough cut deck. Any help identifying the wood would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know anything about types of woods so this is probably an easy one for you guys. Thanks!

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Live in ND but no trees here...
4049AB98-40DC-411B-98E1-358995C8968B.jpeg
A83FBDD2-F803-48FD-A345-2312BE6A63E9.jpeg
Betty Fred

Thank you Eric! I will look for that when I contact my lumber guy.

Rick patterson

I made a cutting board from scraps of wood in the workshop. I have no idea what the darker and olive colour wood with the stripes is. It was used as balusters in an outdoor deck. Thanks

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
East coast Canada
B7FD166B-329E-4A64-B1BA-0C1677CCA5EF.jpeg
Dan

Good Morning, can you please help me identify the wood in the attached? It was used by a previous owner to build an uncovered deck in 2018, so it has been in the elements for about 3 years (it has held up remarkably well). If it helps, I was told by the neighbor that the prior owner mentioned possibly importing an expensive Asian wood for the deck.

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Washington, DC
Wood1.jpg
Wood2.jpg
Paula

Made and purchased in Eugene Oregon 1978

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Oregon
35FEFB27-1C18-4E04-AB2F-D9F6A89D8F6B.jpeg
Bryan f salsman

Has a lot of grey grain in it. it was milled and planed down so its not weathered. It’s grain is tight and it sands smooth.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
MO
20210320_063230.jpg
20210320_063211.jpg
Bryan f salsman

Turns out it’s silver maple

Nova Scotia

Hi there, really enjoy this website! Here are two pics of wood we cannot identify. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Canada
EAD2DD3F-4432-45DD-9696-9C65D761A016.jpeg
60E04A8B-5DA5-4401-9C6F-91A5BA4F6BAD.jpeg
talia zulueta

hi there,

i purchased a dining set on FB market and I have just began the restoration process and have sanded it down. i’m not quite sure what wood this is and i want to make sure i use the proper stains and finish to protect this wood as much as possible.

thanks!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
VA (don’t know where it was made)
image.jpg
Terry Kemp

Can you help me identify this wood by the end grain. This time I was able to get the pictures attached.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Middle Tennessee
20210316_161141 (1).jpg
20210316_161255 2.jpg
Crystal

Hi. I recently purchased a wood cabinet online that I’m waiting to receive but the species was not listed. Can you point me in the right direction? Also, can you mention what wood species would compliment this specific wood furniture?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Northeast, US
marshalls.jpg
marshalls (2).jpg
Last edited 7 months ago by Crystal
Terry emp

Can you help me identify this wood by the end grain

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Middle Tennessee
Roman

Any ideas on what this is? Ovangkol? Zebrano?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Canada
Photo 2021-03-16, 1 24 42 PM.jpg
Roman

Totally! As best I can lol
I can’t even describe the smell… when it burns it’s like oak, but it has a… “chocolatey” smell after being cut…

Photo 2021-03-17, 7 24 14 AM.jpg
1 28 29 30 31 32 34