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Wood Identification for Preservation Professionals
a hands-on workshop on identifying unknown wood species

a hands-on workshop on identifying unknown wood species

June 23 - June 25, 2015

Natchitoches, LA

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Register NowThe purpose of this course is to provide training in wood identification to professionals involved in preservation and conservation of architectural wood. The course is designed to teach wood morphology and anatomy at all structural levels relevant for wood identification. While focusing on a selection of North American and several exotic wood species that are prominent architectural materials, participants will acquire comprehensive knowledge and skill sets applicable to identification of any unknown wood sample. Emphasize will be given to hands-on exercise in sampling, sample preparation, macroscopic and microscopic techniques, and immediate integration of lectured material into practice.

Each participant will receive a set of reference samples containing a selection of common wood species and matching microscope slides.

Tuition for this three-day workshop is $399. Space is limited. Register early to reserve your place!

STUDENTS: Contact Ed FitzGerald at edward_fitzgerald@contractor.nps.gov with your .edu email address to receive a student discount of $100 off of full tuition.

Registration Deadline: June 12, 2015 (Midnight, CST)

Who Should Attend

This workshop will teach skills useful to anyone with a need to identify wood species. Applicable professions include but are not limited to:

  • Archeologists
  • Architects
  • Carpenters
  • Conservators
  • Furniture restorers

Note that although the course will focus on common architectural woods, the skills taught can be applied to any unknown wood. This course is open to anyone and no prior knowledge is required.

Expected Course Outcomes

By the completion of the course, participants are expected to:

  • wood_identificationHave an in-depth knowledge of wood anatomy on a macroscopic and a microscopic level applicable to wood identification
  • Acquire skills for examining wood visually, using hand held magnifiers, and light microscope
  • Become proficient in selecting and using diverse reference materials (including e-resources) for wood identification
  • Be able to routinely identify 10-20 softwood, hardwood and exotic wood species most commonly encountered in built environment in North America
  • Be able to successfully apply wood identification techniques to most unknown wood species
  • Develop sample collection and sample preparation skills specifically for wood in architectural settings

NEW! Download the course syllabus.

Recommended Course Materials

We suggest that participants bring the following materials to the workshop. We recognize that you may be unable to travel with sharp objects and will have enough of the following on hand to loan.

  • X-Acto knife (large No. 1) and curved blades or equivalent
  • Pocket knife
  • Magnifying Lens or hand loupe (10X or 20X)
  • Indelible marking pen (Sharpie or equivalent)
  • R.Bruce Hoadley, Identifying Wood: Accurate Results With Simple Tools.
  • A.J. Panshin and Carl de Zeeuw, Textbook of Wood Technology: Structure, Identification, Properties, and Uses of the Commercial Woods of the United States and Canada, Volume 1.


Rooms are available at a special discounted rate of $86/night (excludes breakfast) through Natchitoches Bed and Breakfast LLC. Call (800) 443-8343 for reservations (tell them you are with NCPTT for the discounted rate).

Accommodations are also available at a discounted rate of $95/night at the Comfort Suites hotel, located at 151 Hayes Ave., Natchitoches, LA. Call (318) 228-8816 for reservations (tell them you’re in town for the “Wood ID Workshop”). This rate is available until June 5.

Click here for more information regarding travel to Natchitoches and accommodations.


Dr. Suzana Radivojevic is an Adjunct Instructor of Historic Preservation at the University of Oregon, where she teaches Buildings Pathology: Wood. She earned a B.Sc.F.E. in Wood Processing from the University of Belgrade, Serbia and a Ph.D. in Wood Science from the University of Toronto. Areas of interest include building pathology and historic preservation technology focusing on wood, non-destructive wood inspection and characterization, and dendrochronological dating. Previous work experience includes teaching research positions in Serbia, Canada, New York, and Oregon.

For more information about this workshop, contact Ed FitzGerald at edward_fitzgerald@contractor.nps.gov or (318) 356-7444


If you need to withdraw from an event, you must inform us in writing via email or fax. Cancellations more than 30 days prior to an event will be fully refunded, less a $30 administrative fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations made less than 30 days before the start of the event. In the unlikely occurrence that NCPTT must cancel an event, you may choose to receive a full refund of the registration fee or a credit for a future NCPTT event.

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June 23, 2015
June 25, 2015
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NCPTT<br /><small>a hands-on workshop on identifying unknown wood species</small>


Lee H. Nelson Hall<br /><small>a hands-on workshop on identifying unknown wood species</small>
645 University Pkwy., Natchitoches, LA 71457 United States
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(318) 356-7444
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119