ANNOTATED LIST OF REFERENCES ON THE PREPARATION
OF WOOD FOR MICROSCOPIC STUDY
TEANNETTE M. KRYN, Forest Products Technologist
Forest Products Laboratory,1 Forest Se'vL:. ,i Ai Jturp i.
U. So Department of Agriculture ,urt xrir t Str
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1951. Thpirepalar iotr o ef- wood-Tr microscopic examination. Leaflet No
hO. revised February 1951, 8 pp. Depto of Scio and Irjij:.
Research Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes
Ris3o'ough Aylesbury, Bucks., England.
Methods are presented for the softening., embedding in cello iir.
3e: .-ionarung staining and mounting of wood for mi:'roccpil
study. Two macerating procedures are outlined
Bailey, A. J.
1935. A new imbedding technique for hard or soft tissue. J. Forebt-v
Vol. 33, No- 7T pp. 688-690.
Use of a colorless commercial lacquer for embedding tissue acvid-
the difficulties of excessive contraction and affords contrcl
of hardness of the embedding medium by mere variation in the
temperature during the final drying.
1937. Precision sectioning of wood. Stain Technology Volo 12, No. L,
Discussion of the relative values of microtome knives and raz.-
blades for cutting precise sections of wood. Sharpening and
sectioning techniques are explained.
1927. An ideal wood-cellulose double-stain. Mikrokosmos Ban- 20.
(Abstr. in Chem. Abstr. Vol. 21, No. 16, p. 2717.)
Differentiation of wood and cellulose in woody sections by mear'=
of solutions of (1) hematoxylin and (2) chrysoid-n.
Maintained at Madison; Wis., in cooperation with the University :f
Rept. No. 1939 Agriculture Mai:sonf
Chamberlain, Co J.o
1932, Methods in plant histology- 5th edo University of Chicago Press.
A standard text. Much of the information on the preparation of
wood for microscopic study is still useful.
Chowdhury, Ko Ao
1934o An improved method of softening hard woody tissues in hydrofluoric
acid under pressure Ann. Boto Volo 48, No. 189,o pp. 308-310,
Treating wood with hydrofluoric acid under pressure accelerates
the softening process Necessary equipment can be built to
specifications. Useful if considerable amount of diagnostic
work is to be carried on.
Conn. Ho J.o
1953. Biological stains.o 6th edo .Biotech Publications, Geneva, N.o IY.
To be pub. in spring, 195-,o
An authoritative di.cuaaion of stains useful in biological
Crowellp Io Ho
1930o Cutting miroscopic sections of wood without previous treatment in
hydroflu .& acido Stain Technology Vol. 5, No, 4, ppo 149-150,
How to section wood that has been softened by a jet of steam at
atmosphere c pr-essuzreo
Davenport, Ho Ao and Swank R. Lo
1934. Embedding with low viscosity nitrocelluloseo Stain Technology
Volo 9s No. 4s ppo 137-139.
Advantages and disadvantages of embedding with low viscosity
nitrocellulose in :ompardson with celloidin, and procedure to
Davis, Go Eo and Stovers E. Lo
1936. A simple apparatus for the steam method of softening woods for
microscope sections. Trans Illo Acado Sci Volo 28, p. 87.
Dean Ho Lo
1941. An improved schedule for staining plant tissues in Delafield' s
hematoxylin and safranino Chron Botanica Volo 6., No. 13,-
Reversing the older method and staining first with hematoxylin
to the desired in.enisity then with safranin results in an
improved schedule, for the hematoxylin remains fixed through-
out the entire processing with safranino
Repto No. 1939
Diemer, M. E. and Gerry, Eloise
1921. Stains for the mycelium of molds and other fungi. Science Vol.
54, No. 1408, pp. 629-630.
A solution of silver nitrate in distilled water, applied to thin
sections of wood, is effective in differentiating the mycelium
of several molds and wood-destroying fungi for microscopic
study. Two other solutions proved to be successful for the
Foster, A.* So
1949. Practical plant anatomy. 2nd ed. D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc.,
The appendix contains information about the maceration of wood
and the preparation of temporary mounts showing special
structures by use of certain stains.
Franklin G. Lo
1937. Permanent preparations of macerated wood fibres. Trop. Woods
No. 49, pp. 21-22. New Haven, Conn.
How to stain macerated wood with light green in clove oil and
absolute alcohol, and procedure for mounting in Canada balsam.
1945. Preparation of thin sections of synthetic resins and wood-resin
ccmposites, and a new macerating method for wood. Nature
Vol. 155, No. 3924, p. 51. (In Biol. Abstr. Vol. 20, No. 1i
Sect. AO, No, U18, 1946.)
The use of glacial acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide for
softening and maceration.
1946. A rapid method of softening wood for microtome sectioning.
Trop. Woods No. 88, pp. 35-36. New Haven, Conn.
A method for softening wood that uses glacial acetic acid and
hydrogen peroxide. Effective for some woods.
1951o Handbuch der mikroskopie in der technik. Band V, Mikroskopie
des holes und des papers. Teil I and II Umschau Verlag.
Frankfurt am Main.
Presents the history of wood anatomy, the techniques of preparing
permanent slides of wood, detailed description of structure of
certain European woods, and types of microscopy. Yell
Rept. No, 1939
Gatenby, J. B., and Beams, H. V. (Editors)
1950. The microtomist's vade-mecum (Bolles Lee); a handbook of the
methods of animal and plant microscopic technique. Ullth ed.
The Blakiston Co., Philadelphia.
Sees Lee, A. B.
Although primarily a handbook of zoological microscopic technique,
chapters h45, 4i6, and h7 contain valuable information relating
to the sectioning, staining, and mounting of wood for micro-
Harlow, fo M.
1944. The chemical softening of wood for microtome sectioning. Bull.
New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University.
Vol- 17, No. 2, pp. 1-16. Technical Publication No. 63.
A review of methods for the chemical softening of wood for
sectioning, with the conclusion that no substance appears to be
better than hydrofluoric acid, although several yield satis-
factory results in a shorter time. A bibliography is included.
Hutchinson, VWo Go
1936o A method for stair.L.g rust mycelium in woody tissues. Phytopath.
Vol. 26, No. 3, PP. 293-294. (Plant Science Lit. Vol. 3, No. 4,
Strassburgerg s Orseillin BB=anilin-blue-staining procedure, used
with freshly cut, unfixed sections of white pine infected with
blister rust, stained the mycelium blue, suberized and lignified
walls red, parenchyma walls blue, and cytoplasm and nuclei red.
1940. Preventing the curling of wood sections. Trop. Woods No. 64,
ppo 41-43. New Haven, Conn.
How to prevent curling of wood sections by placing them between
two wire s reens immediately after sectioning.
Jeffrey, E.o Co
1922. The anatomy of woody plants. Univ. Chicago Press. Chicago.
Chapter 32,9 entitled "Anatomical Technique,* presents the
fundamentals of wood microtechnique. The-material is not new,
but much of it is still useful.
1928. Improved method of softening hard tissues. Bot. Gaz. Vol. 86,
A method for softening very hard wood in dilute hydrofluoric acid
in a few days, by first heating the wood in 95 percent alcohol
at a temperature of 3200 F., using an ordinary dental vulcanizer.
Rept. No. 1939
Johansen, D. A.
1940. Plant microtechnique, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc. New York.
A standard text in botanical microtechnique. Chapters 7, 8, 11;
and 15 contain material useful in the preparation of wood for
1934. Action of hydrofluoric acid in softening wood. Trop. Woods
No. 40, pp. 37-42. New Haven, Conn.
Describes the effect of hydrofluoric acid upon the walls of
lignifled cells in attempt to explain why the acid softens
1926, Die Dampfmethode ein neues verfahren zum schneiden h~rtester
pflarzlichen oblecte. (The steam method for sectioning hard
plant material.) Zeitschr, WIiss. Mikrosk. Band 43, pp. 346-
354. (In Bot. Abstr Vol. 15, 1926.)
Softening of wood by means of steam directed upon the block as
the sections are being cut.
1931. Neae Erfahrungen aaf dem Gebiete des Schneidens harter Objekte.
(New practices in the field of sectioning hard substances.)
Zeitschr, Wiss. Mikrosk. Band 48, pp. 320-342.
1941. Mikroskopische verlanderungen der Holzstructure durch mechanische
Beanspruchung insbesondere bei der Schnittanfertigung.
(Microscopical changes in wood structure caused by mechanical
strain especially in sectioning.) Bot. Archives Band 42,
Heft 1, pp. 100-1L48.
A review of the chemical, physical, and mechanical processes used
for softening or treating wood. The significance of changes in
the cell walls and middle lamella resulting from such treatment,
as seen by microscopical examinations of cross sections, is
1947. Vorschlage zur verbesserung der abziehvorrichfungen fur
mikrotommesser. (Proposals for improving sharpening apparatus
for microtome knives.) Mikroscopie Band 2, Heft 3/4, pp. 90-
102. Verlag Rudolf Hans Hammer, Vienna.
Rept. No, 1939
1999. Precis de microscope. Masson et Cie, Editeurs, Libraires de
I1 academic de medecine, 120, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris,
A detailed review of the subject of microscopy, including types
of microscopes and lenses, photomicrography, staining, etc.
Section 3, Chapter 3 presents information pertaining to the
preparation of slides of wood.
Lees, A. B.
1950. The microtomist's vade-mecum: a handbook of the methods of animal
and plant microscopic technique, llth ed. Edited by J. B.
Gatenby and H. W. Beams. The Blakiston Co., Philadelphia.
Seer Gatenby J. B. and Beams, H. W.
Limbach; J. P.
1941, New woody tissue techniques. Unpublished thesis submitted for
degree of Master of Science, University of Wisconsin.
Presents several methods for use of chemicals in the softening
of wood for microscopic study.
Martss R, 0,
1950o Application of fluorescence microscopy and photomicrography to
woody tissues. Stain Technology Vol. 25, No. l, pp. 41-44.
The procedure described permits detailed observation of rela-
tively large surface areas of wood under low power, in nearly
natural conditions, without sectioning or staining, by means
of fluorescence microscopy and photomicrography.
Newby,, W,, Wo and Plummer., P.
1936, Technique for preparing microscopic sections of woody stems and
roots. Bot. Gaz. Vol. 98, pp. 198-199.
The method described is similar to that used in making slides of
petrifactions. It is most useful for very hard woods.
194h. Dissociation des elements histologiques du bois. (Separation of
the histological elements of wood.) Bull. Soc. Bot. Fr. Vol.
91, Noso 7-8, pp. 180-182. (Bev. in$ For. Abstr Vol. 8, No. 1,
The use of alcohol and nitric acid for macerating woody tissue.
Peacock, Ho Alan
19h0. Elementary microtechnique. 2nd ed. Edward Arnold and Co.,
Rept. No. 1939
Sass, J.o E.
1951. Botanical microtechnique. 2nd ed. Iowa State College Press.
A good general text. Chapters 8 and 9 present the techniques for
the preparation of slides of wood sections. Chapter 10 presents
methods for maceration,.
Spearin. W, 3. and Isenberg,, I. H.
1947. Maceration of woody tissue. Science Vol. 105, Nco 2721, p, 2TL.
Describes a nondrasti: method for macerating wood by means of
acetic acid and sodium chlorite. Disadvantage 1is that condi-
tions must be adjusted to each species of wood.
1942. The use of Lrlor,,'f.rm in clearing wood sections. Jo Forestry
Vol. 40., Nco. 5 ppo 428 L2?o
A method for clearing wood section. with zhlor.f)rm rather than
with clove oil or xy.eie. Advantages are less brittleness and
cuirlring of sectior.- disadvantages are volatility and sj-ghtly
higher c ".k
Tunmann, o0. and Rosenthaler) Lo
1931. Pflanzenmikrochemieo 2nrL ed. Verlag von Gebr2qder Borntraeger,
Contains a section on the methods for the microscopic study of
fats-, oils, a-rd resin9 in wood. Maceration methods, sectiornng
techniques; and mounting of wood are presented also
Wetmore, R. Ho
1932. The use of celloidin in botanical technic. Stain Technology
Vol 7T, No. 2, pp. 37-62.
Detailed outline of procedure to be followed in embedding wood
Journals with Review-:, Abstracts. or Bibliograpiles on
Mi:roscopic Research and Methods
Bulletin de Microscopie Appliquee.
Organe mensuel de la society Francaise de microscope theorique et
appliquee. Editions de la Revue D'Optique Theorique et Instrumentale,
L. P. Clerc, Directeur General 1653 Rue de Sevre5 3 & 5, Boulevard
Pasteur, Paris, 15e
Rept. No. 1939
NiVERSiTY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08924 2613
Mikroskopie: Zentralblatt fur mikroskopische forschung und methodik.
Verlag Georg Fromme & Co., Vienna.
Stain Technology: A journal for microtechnic and histochemistry. Official
Organ of the Biological Stain Commission. Pub. by Biotech Publications,
Geneva, N. Y.
Rept. No. 1939