Applied Optical Microscopy Series 2001

 August 20 – 24

Wood Anatomy and Identification

Harry A. Alden, Ph.D., Microscopist

This course provides an introduction to wood anatomy of temperate and tropical species and to their macroscopic and microscopic identification.  Emphasis is placed on real-life applications of analysis of samples from wooden artifacts from museum and archaeological contexts (including charcoal). Areas covered include sampling, microtechniques, character identification and identification of unknowns using reference sets, dichotomous keys and computer applications.  Students are welcome to bring an object for analysis. 


Images from the course text.

American Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

American Black Walnut Crystals

 American Black Walnut Gashes

Spruce (Picea sp.) 

 Spruce Resin Ducts 
Resin Ducts   

Yellow Pine Group (Pinus sp.)

Yellow Pine Group Ray details
Ray Details

Bald Cypress (Taxodium sp.)

Bald Cypress Axial Parenchyma
Axial Parenchyma

Oaks (Quercus spp.)

Red Oak Group   
Red Oak Group   

White Oak 
White Oak Group

White Oak Group
White Oak Group