Tropical Timber Information Center

Tropical Timber Information Center
101 Baker Laboratory
Director, Dr. Susan Anagnost


The Tropical Timber Information Center (TTIC) provides wood identification services and information on the properties and uses of tropical and domestic woods. Accurate identification of imported timbers helps to insure authenticity for proper wood utilization. Tropical species imported into the US include such woods as Balsa, Cedro, Ipé (Brazilian walnut), Jatoba (Brazilian cherry), Keruing (Apitong), Mahogany, Meranti (Lauan), Sapele, and Teak to name a few. Uses include flooring, decking, interior finishing, cabinetry and plywood.

TTIC is the home of the Harry Philip Brown Memorial Wood Collection, a repository of about 40,000 wood samples from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Unique to this collection is the Project 1 North American Wood Collection which contains wood specimens collected from about 780 trees throughout the US and Canada.

TTIC provides:
• Wood identification for both tropical and domestic woods
• Information on properties and uses of imported timbers as well as domestic species
• Authenticated wood samples for loan to researchers
• Over 5,000 microscope slides of wood samples for loan to researchers
• Digital images of wood anatomical features
• Project 1 North American wood samples are available for research/wood collections
• Imaging: Light microscopy, Scanning EM and Transmission EM of wood samples is available in nearby facilities: the NC Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies and Analytical and Technical Services
• Wood property testing available in the Wood Products Engineering Laboratory

Harry Philip Brown Memorial Wood Collection.
The Harry Philip Brown Memorial Wood Collection (Brown Wood Collection or BWC) was named for a former Chair of the Department of Wood Technology at ESF, who started the wood collection in the 1920’s, and initiated and organized the Project 1 North American collection.
• Collection: Total about 40,000 specimens, with about 2,100 genera; sample identifier, BWCw
• Project 1 North American samples; about 780 samples; collection originated at ESF
• Herbarium vouchers:
o Yes, for the North American special collection known as Project I and a small number of other special items: 1,000
o Records kept of vouchers deposited elsewhere; about 97% of collection.
• Important collections: Brown Project 1 (United States, Canada); Krukoff (Africa, Brazil, Sumatra); Maguire et al. (Guayana Highlands); Prance (Amazon Basin); Mori (northern South America); Wood Technology Project I (North America); A.C. Smith (Guiana, Fiji); Pittier (Venezuela, Panama); Cuatrecasas (Colombia); Kanehira (Micronesia, east Asia); Lecomte (Madagascar, Indochina); Gamble (India); Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestal (Mexico); Desch (Malaya); Ducke (Brazil); Rimbach (Ecuador); Williams (Peru, Mexico); Stahel (Surinam); Bena (French Guiana).

Literature and Weblinks:
The InsideWood Database

The Wood Database

Species Identification and Design Value Estimation of Wooden Members in Covered Bridges, FPL Madison (Alex C. Wiedenhoeft; David E. Kretschmann, 2014)

Forest Products Lab Center for Wood Anatomy Research with links to other databases:

Wood Identification Bruce Hoadley

International Association of Wood Anatomists
IAWA website (

Wood Anatomy of CITES listed tree species

Identification of selected CITES-protected Araucariaceae using
DART TOFMS. 2017. Philip D. Evans, Ignacio A. Mundo, Michael C. Wiemann,
Gabriela D. Chavarria, Pamela J. McClure, Doina Voin,and Edgard O. Espinoza.

Tropical Timbers of the World Microsoft Word – chud1-9,13-15.doc (

Woodwork Details

ITTO Lesser Used Species

Best Practice Guide for Forensic Timber Identification

The Lacey Act

Global Timber Tracking Network

Lumber imports data

Current Tropical Wood Market in the US

Forest Products Statistics

Literature and weblinks on Wood Collections

Miller, R. B. 1999. Xylaria at the Forest Products Laboratory: past, present, and future. In: Wood to Survive, Annales. Sciences Economiques 25, ed. F. Maes & H. Beeckmann, pp. 243–254. Musee Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervuren.

IAWA. 2016. Index Xylariorum 4.1.

Stern, William. 1973. The Wood Collection – What Should Be Its Future? Arnoldia 33(1): 67-80.

Stern, William L. 1988. Index xylariorum. Institutional wood collections of the world. IAWA Bulletin 3d revised ed., n.s. 9: 203-252.

Wiendenhoeft, Alex C. 2014. Curating xylaria. Chapter 9 in Curating Biological Collections – A Handbook Ed. Jan Salick, Katie Konchar, Mark Nesbitt Kew Publishing, in association with Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2014

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