Institute of

Wood Research

Establishment of a national and international leading position in wood identification by the further development of computerized databases and preparation of a "fibre atlas" for the detection of tropical timber in pulp and paper

Global changes and developments in the international trade with wood and wood products require a reliable identification of the timber species according to the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). The institute maintains one of the world’s largest scientific wood collections and databases and provides comprehensive wood identification for government agencies, timber trade, and consumer associations.

With the implementation of the EUTR, the number of requests has been strongly increased, particularly from foreign authorities and wood trading companies. For some wood products, such as paper and fibre boards, established identification methods and references are not available. New methods and references are currently developed by the application of electron microscopic techniques (fibre morphology) and chemical analyses (chemotaxonomy).

To meet future requirements, the existing and presently developed databases for species identification are continuously updated by so called "lesser known species". Furthermore, current market overviews of the internationally traded wood species are provided to the authorities. This comprehensive work is integrated in the Thünen Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber which represents the central contact facility for wood identification in Germany.