FfY FO1 IENIIIFICATION Of WCOOUS USI)
iN41 BOX ANID CIATIE CONSTRUCTION
Revised April 1942
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT &F AGRICULTURE
FOREST PRODUCTS LABORATORY
In Cooperation with the University of Wisconsin
KEY -'0R TH-E IE:' I7"ICATIONT
(Without the Aid of Hand Lens)
OF WOODS USED F0?. BOX ATD CRATE
ELOISE GERRY, Microscopist
Woods from broad-leaved trees
Woods with pores or vessels,
that is, cells larger than
those surrounding them.
I. Pores Present: Sometimes not visible to the naked eyre in certain diffuse
porous woods in which, however, the distinct rays or lack of well-
defined sum.merwood distinguish them from conifers.
A. Ring-porous woods: The cor.mparatively large sringwood pores are
clearly visible especially in the sapwood at the beginning of each
annual rin-. Cn the end grain of a log these pores form distinct
rings. The ,:arked difference between springwood and summerwood is
characteristic. Lon-itudinal surfaces appear coarse textured because
of the lar^-e springwood pores which show as fine grooves or furrows
ofteL producing a characteristic fiu-are. These woods are mostly
heavy and occur in container wood groups III and IV. Chestnut,
which is a ring-porous wood, is an exception; it is fairly li;ht
when seasoned and is classed in group I.
1. Suimilerwood figured with wavy or branched radial bands. ("?ands
extend across the rin's in the saiue direction as the rays.
-lTnless otherwise stat'-d all observations of structure are iaade on a
s:aoothl- cut cross section or end rain showing Lro-.'th rinjs of average
width. A sharp knife is incis-ensable. --All color determinations should
be made on a freshly cut longitudinal surface of the heartwood. Ilenti-
fications ;",hed on odor or taste are best made on ;reen material or on
Li,'zi cut surfaces, shavings or sawdust, which have not before been
exposed to the. air.
Report 1o. R258
AA. _',vj :.r'c, broad, .nndr conspicuous. They,' appear as "flecr:('
or 'silver ;rain'" on nuarter-sa'ed material, "'ood heavy to
very heavy. Sap-ooo-. rather narrc 40-41,
-. Rays not noticeable. Color rayish brown, texture coarze,
Sapwood narrow. Wood luodera-el;- light. 3'.
2. S3u.Luerwood li;-red with short or wavy tangential lines r-jxnin
:iore or less parallel with the r..: -, often :,ost noticeable to',:ard
,'he outer part ot' the rTo..,th ring.
A.-i. eartwood not distinctly darker than :ajIwood 'sapw.ood some-
ti.es darker than heartwood on account of sap stain). Rays
distinctly visible but fine. The wavy tan-ential lines con-
spricuous throughout the su.-.eruwood. Spri-..,"cod por, s mn.,er-
ous, in :jore than one row. Color pale to yellowish or
greenish gray. Wooa ...oderately heavy. 37.
or s ,CA .- Y
75. Heartwood distinctly darker than sap...ood. :ays barelT-
(1) Sprn-,77Ood ores in mote than one row.
ery ine broken tan;-'pntial lines ,sible in
outer suLmerwood and pspocially prominent in .'i. e
rin-s. Sap-'ood several 'nnhes wide, heart-.oo`
brownish. :ost pores or vessels, except in outer
rac,'.'ood, a pear somewhat closed, difficult to 7blo'
throu._h. Wood hard, except pumpkin ash which is
moderately heavy to heavy. 35-44.
i E III.
7.- ."; ASH IV.
--aure indicates an aver i e- we i-t+ per cubic foot of the wood air dry,
that is, containi:..- 12 to 15 percent moisturee U. S. A. "uod Kaidrook.
-,uur ini" cat -:rou] to which th wood belong in Kthe container .:oo.
b. Long and conspicuous wavy tangential bands through-
out the summerwood. Sapwood very narrow. H'eartwood
brown with reddish tinge. Pores rather open. "ood
moderately heavy. 37..
(2) Springwood pores in one more or less continuous row
except in wide rings where there are occasionally :ore.
a. Pores in the springwood fairly conspicuous and
visible, because of size and closeness together.
Pores rather open. Wood moderately heavy. 35.
7IW'T ELY III.
b. Pores in the springwood inconspicuous, hardly dis-
tinguishable from those of the summerwood because
relatively small, often not close toL:ether, and
usually filled with tyloses. Wood heavy. 44.
ROCK EL: IV.
3. Sunuierwood generally not noticeably figured with radial or
AA. Several rows of large springwood pores which are usually
open. Easy to blow through. Sapwood narrow, rarely over
three-fourths of an inch wide. Heartwood grayish to olive
brown. Wood moderately heavy. 34.
BLACK ASH III.
3B. Springwood pores comparatively few, relatively small and
disposed in broken single rows; usually closed with tyloses.
Sapwood often wide. Heartwood brown to reddish brown. Wood
heavy to very heavy. 45-51.
B. Diffuse porous woods: No ring of large pores found at the beginnirng of
each year's growth. Pores appear as fine grooves on the longitudinal
cuts and are scattered with considerable uniformity throughout both the
springwood and the summerwood. Pores vary in size from visible to the
naked eye to barely visible or indistinguishable without a lens. The
relatively small amount of difference in size between the springwood
and summerwood pores makes it often difficult to distinguish the annual
rings. Some of these woods are rather soft and light but are sep-oarated
(because they contain pores or vessels) from "II," the conifers, or
softwoods which do not have true pores or vessels. Diffuse-porous
woods are found in groups I, III, and IV of the container woods. Those
in group I are lightest.
1. Individual pores plainly visible. Heartwood lii; t cL..stn at o'
Sapwood narrow. Rnv-s not visible on cross section. `!oo' ii t
and soft. 26.
FT: Z?~-YUT I.
2. Individual pores barely visible. Sapwood wide. Pays not visi le
on cross section.
A-. Pores not crowded. Heartwood reddish brown. "'ood nreavy.
K2. Pores crowded. Heartwood grayish to brownish. Wood otoaer
ately li,;ht to li--'.t. 24-28.
COTO "*'OOD I.
WILLOW W I.
3. Indiividual pores not visible.
AA. Rays co iparatively broad and cons icuous, apear as flec s
on quartered cuts and distinguish these woods fro.:. conifers.
Color various shades of li,'ht reddish brown.
(1) Pays crowded. o denser and darker band of suL.-erwood
noticeable. 'ood usually, lock-. -rai*ned. Moderately
S Y(C' Y :,o \' 7? T I .I
A12 0 '. s^. i L.i
(2) _-lays not crowded. A distinct denser and dart-er band of
su.-uerwood present. Wood fairly straight grained.
'-? .' '4
A!l.2 17-7'.: i .
33. Rays not conspicuous but visible, hence distin-uishin-
these woods froiz conifers.
(i) "Heartwood dingy reddish brown ofte:. with darker streaks.
Sapwood pinkish white moderately y wide, usually over an
inch; often sold as "sap '-.," someti...es stained blue
by sap stain. Annual rin--s not clearly defined. -ays
very fine, close together, not plain even on quartered
cuts. "'food :;oderatelv heavy. 34.
S- C ET-r7-7 i %T E D- I I T. -TW'I I'T
(2) H-eartwood li-;ht reddish brown. Sapwood wide. Annual
rings clearly defined by a thin darker r.-ddish brown
layer. ?-ays fine hut distinct, cons icuous on
quartered cuts because of darker color.
a. Wood hard, difficult to cut across the grain. Pith
flecks rare. Rays a'.pear to be not very close to-
gether as compared with soft maple. Wood heavy. 43.
SUGAR OR HARD MAPLE IV.
b. Wood comparatively easy to cut across grain. Pith
flecks often abundant. Bays appear very close to-
gether compared with hard maple. Wood moderately
heavy and moderately light. 32-37.
SILVER iAPLE III.
(3) Heartwood pale to yellowish with a greenish, sometimes
(esoeciall: in yellow-poplar) purplish tinge. Sapwood
usually over an inch wide, Annual rings clearly
defined by a fine whitish line. Wood moderately light
to moderately heavy. About 27-35.
CCUmCE3R T?=_ I.
IMAGIOLI A I.
(4) Heartwood pale or creamy brown often with occasional
dark or black marks or streaks. Heartwood not sharply
defined from light creamy colored sapwood. Wood light.
A'-ER. BASSWOOD I.
CC. Rays not distinctly visible on cross section. Annual rings
usually riot clearly defined which aids in distin'isuishing
these woods from conifers.
(1) Heartwood distinctly darker than sapwood.
a. Heartwood reddish brown. Wood fairly straight
grained, pith flecks sometimes found. Pores visi-
ble in a good light especially on longitudinal
surfaces where they appear as fine lines or grooves.
Wood heavy. 38-44.
b. Heartwood pale to grayish brown. Wood often very
cross grained. Moderately heavy. 34-35.
LA.C:: iUIi- III.
WATER TUbFLO III.
(2) Heartwood not distinctly darker than sapwood. Wood
a. Color creaniy. Annual ri:.. inconspicuous, very
faintly defined. -a>.ential surfaces show when
smoothly cut, faint fine bands running; across the
grain produced by the rorularly spared or storied
rays. '.ood light and soft. 25.
b. '.,ood whitish. Annual rin-.c clearly defined by a
fine sometimes whitish line. ".o figure such as
is produced by storied rays. Wood moderately
Qi'A::I::- ASPE3T OR "?POPPLE" I
The softwoods, obtained from scale
or needle-leaved tre s. Woods without pores.
II. 'o pores present. Wood usually 'Lr;,:,ears fine textu-red, because the
cells are small and regularly arrar.ned and because no cells are strik-
in ly, larger than those surrounding them. Annual rings are clearly
defined by a definite band of summerwood. Woods light, :uost of them
are in boxwood and crate wood group I. A few heavier conifers make up
A. Oj.or and taste spicy.-resinous. 17o resin ducts, pitch pockets or
accumulations of pitch present.
THE CEDARS. I.
1. Color crea.y., shading to a pale brown. Heartwood odor stron.- in
re-i. material, somewhat sug,.ests ginger. Wood moderately light.
PORT 0R-ZCRD ITIT-CDAR I.
2. Heartwood various shades of red and brown. Odor resembles that of
ceiar shingles. Wood light. 22.
Odor ind taste not spicy, ma: be resinous, esp-ciaily in the pines.
Pitch pockets and other accumul;'tions of pitch includ... small exuda-
tions on the ends of boards often present. .tots us'.ally ...ore or less
resinous. Resin ducts present.
1. Heartwood. darker than sapwood.
AA. Resin ducts visible, relatively conspicuous as s;iall light
specks on the cross section or as fine lines of slightly
different color on the longitudinal surfaces. Wood with
pitchy resinous odor or taste. Heartwood creamy to orange
(1) Summerwood relatively inconspicuous, not much harder or
denser than springwood. Change from springwood to
summerwood gradual. Heartwood pale creamy to light
reddish brown. Resin ducts often conspicuous, espe-
cially in sugar pine. Wood moderately soft and light.
WHITE PINE I.
SUGAR PINE I.
(2) SiLummerwood somewhat denser and more conspicuous than in
(1). Color of heartwood reddish to orange brown. This
group midway in density and appearance between (1) and
(3). Weight 28-34.
PODOROSA I-?I T I.
JACK ?PI:"E I.
RED PITN (Y.ORW'TAY) I.
LODGTOL3: P1I:' I.
(3) Sumerwood very dense, horny. Change from springw.ood
to summerwood often very abrupt. Resin ducts to be
seen especially in or near the summerwood. Wood heavy.
VIRGINIA A.;D NORTH CAROLITA PI'JF II.
SOUTERIT YELLOW PIN II.
PB. Woods with rather inconspicuous resin ducts, without piney
odor but with somewhat resinous odor and taste, liiarked and
rather abrupt change from springwood to sum.,erwood. Pitch
pockets or streaks may be found.
(1) Color of heartwood usually reddish, sometimes with
yellow cast. Suimerwood dense. Scattered resin ducts
present. Often several seen as small white dots in
short tangential rows in or near the summerwood. Pitch
pockets common. Wood moderately heavy. 30-34.
(2) Heartwood dull russet brown. Summerwood sharply
defined and fairly dense. Wood moderately heavy,
especially that from butt cuts. 36.
(3) Heartwood pale reddish. Transition froL spri..-'ooad to
suiaftrwood mi.ore ,-radiual. Split tangential surfa'-s
especially if through the suiiimerwood of narrow r.s
characteristically indented or "dimpled." Split sur-
faces show silky seen. 26.
SITiA SPRUCE I.
2. Hoartwood the same color as sapwood. Toois not conspicuously
pitcher though resin ducts are present and pitch pockets may occir.
f-racual transition from springwood to suanerwood. Split surfaces
show silky sheen. Moderately light. 24-38.
OTHEzr 'P":*I.'C .
C. Wood without spicy odor, not pitch or resinous. No resin ducts,
pitch pockets or accumulations of pitch normally present in the wood
th.,u.h resin may in some cases exude from the bark.
1. Heartwood strongly colorc-d, summerwood dense.
.A. :eartwood deep brownish red. 'ood without aatrkudly char-
acteristic odor. Wood ,joiurately light. -nnual rings
rather re>cular in width. 25-30.
13. Heartwood light to ver:- dark brown. Odor soziewhat rancid.
Longitudinal surfaces feel waxy. Annual rings very
irregular in width. Weight variable. Avera,;'.. 30.
3ALDC'7P-' SS I.
2. heartwood not strongly colored.
AA. '"ood whitish at least in sprin,,-.ood. Summerwood darker, often
sharply contrasted in color, tinged with red or purplish
brown. 'Iood light. 23-2 8.
THE TRl7E FI.S I.
5B. 'W.ood has slight reddish hue in both sprinr.,'ood and summer' cooQ.
Wood splintery, often with cup shake. Odor somewhat sour
',nen wood is frosh. Moderately light. 30.
- hSj*-' i
CLASS IFICATION O C0CTAI:-.R *'00D4
The various species of woods generally used for constructing boxes and crates
are classified into groups. This grouping is based on weight, strength and
especially on the ability of the different woods to hold nails securely and
resist the splitting action which is produced when they are driven, thus
making it necessary to use smaller nails in the heavier, denser woods.
The specification groups are here subdivided according to structure:
American chestnut 30
AmLerican basswood 26
Quaking aspen (popple) 28
Pine, white 27-29
Pine, sugar 26
Pine, lodgepole 28
Pine, ponderosa 28
Pine, jack 29
Pine, red (17orway) 34
Spruce, En. elman 24
Spruce, red 26
Spruce, Sitka 26
Sp ruce, white 28
Baldcyjp ress 30
Fir, balsam 25
ir, noble 26
fir, Al-ie 23
7ir, red 28
"ir, grand 27
Tir,Pacific silver 27
-The fi, ;re at the ri;ht of the wood indicates the average air-L.ry weight
per cvlic foot of the species. U.S.D.A. Wood Hanribo'`.:.
Di f fuse-, oxuos
? .l:.'-_po "o u -
Swee' ... (redg;um)
Red maple )
Di f fuse-porous
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08866 5046