The identification of timbers may, at first sight, appear to be a comparatively simple matter; however, when it is realised that there are tens of thousands of woody species in the world, it will be appreciated that in some cases correct identification may be exceedingly difficult. Actually it is not always possible to arrive at the correct specific name from the examination of a single sample of wood, although it is usually possible to narrow down the identification to a group of related species, and this may be sufficient for most practical purposes. Moreover, although there are so many species that produce woody stems, only a small proportion grow to timber size. Even so, the number of species producing commercial timber runs into several hundreds. The characters available for distinguishing woods are not numerous, and identifications should be based on an examination of features that are known to be reliable, rather than on the more obvious characters, such as colour and weight, that tend to be far from consistent.
KeywordsBuilding Research Resin Canal Canada Balsam Commercial Timber Hand Lens
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