Macroscopic characteristics

Recent wood can often be identified by macroscopic characteristics, particularly by colour, gloss, odour, weight and structure.
As such characteristics are generally modified or destroyed in fossil, historic or carbonized wood, only a few species or species groups of the indigenous flora can be identified with the naked eye or only with the aid of a magnifier (5 to 20x).


Coniferous wood

In coniferous wood it is possible to distinguish the species which have resin canals from those which do not. The transition from earlywood to latewood can be sharp or continuous.

Ring porous
dicotyledonous wood

The diameter of the pores in the earlywood is much greater than the diameter of the pores in latewood.
Arrangement and size of pores in the latewood, fine and large rays can be differentiated.

Semi-ring to diffuse porous
dicotyledonous wood

In semi-ring porous woods, the pores are more numerous in earlywood, in diffuse porous woods the size of pores and distribution is more regularely. Arrangement and size of pores, fine and large rays differ from species to species.

An identification key based on macroscopis characters is not given here as it exits e.g. In Bosshard (1974/75) or Gottwald (1958).


  © / authors / citation / 12.05.04