Educational Session: Understanding Wood as a Raw Material

May 20, 2021

Richmond Expo 2021


What wood is that: Wood Identification for the Professional

Is this the right wood? Having difficulty in determining what species you have actually been sent? Is that really hard maple or soft maple? Is this really cypress or a substitute? This ½ day course will focus on the tools and methods for wood identification of North American species.

We will start with an introduction to wood anatomy and the relationships of wood and water. The afternoon session will focus on simple methods of differentiating species and move into more complex methods. Participants will learn how to determine the different species in North America and will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on application of the tools and methods discussed. All materials will be provided, all you need to do is show up with enthusiasm to learn!

Where: Hilton Garden Inn Richmond International Airport. 441 International Center Drive, Sandston, VA 23150

When: Thursday May 20, 2021.

Tentative agenda:

8:00 am Welcome and Introductions
8:15 Introduction to Wood Anatomy
Structural arrangement (planes of reference)
What is a hardwood/softwood
Grain and its influence on properties
Heartwood and sapwood
Density and specific gravity
Figure in Wood
9:00 Wood and Water
Moisture content defined
EMC, Temperature and Relative Humidity
Fiber saturation point
How and why wood shrinks and swells
10:00 Break
10:15 Measuring Moisture content
Oven dry method
Microwave method
Moisture Meters
Moisture meter exercise
11:15 Coping with Wood Movement
Calculating shrinkage and swelling
Stabilizing wood
How to design for wood movement
12:00 Lunch
Wood Identification Introduction
1:00 pm Introduction to wood identification
1:30 Hardwood anatomy and hardwood identification
2:30 Break
2:45 Softwood Anatomy and hardwood identification
3:45 Application
4:45 Using a microscope
5:00 Adjourn


Dr. Brian Bond

Brian H. Bond, Ph.D., serves a professor and extension specialist in the area of wood products. His focus is on improving the sustainable use and manufacturing of wood products. He has fifteen years experience in wood drying, sawmill performance, and the performance of wood products (flooring, furniture, etc.). He also has an interest in training preparing students to take on leadership roles in the area of natural resources and is assistant director of the College of Natural Resources Leadership Institute. The goal of the institute is to equip students with the skills and tools needed to solve critical problems facing society in the management and utilization of our natural resources and in stewardship of the environment.


Dr. Henry Quesada

Henry works in the area of Industrial Engineering with specific interests in continuous improvement, supply chain management, international marketing, and organizational innovation. He teaches the courses SBIO 3464 Forest Products Business Systems, and SBIO 3954 Global Issues Sustainability at Virginia Tech. He is also an extension specialist supporting renewable-based industries in Virginia and beyond




Registration: Registration is $100. This include materials, and coffee breaks. Lunch will be on your own. Please follow this link to register for this workshop:

Questions: Please email or You may also call to 540 231 0978.