Wood Technology

FORS 3000 Note: Because wood tech is an entire class, it is not considered a module for FORS 3000.


Wood technology requires contestants to identify fresh blocks of wood to either genus or species. There are 20 specimens, and 2 minutes are allowed for each. Contestants may use a 10 to 20 power hand lens, and may whittle the blocks with a knife or razor. Identification is made based on visual features and occasionally smell. Scoring is based on the recording of the correct genus, specific epithet, and common name, with penalties for misspelling or failing to underline genus and specific epithet. Highest score wins. Wood technology has been a Conclave event from 1961 to present every year except for 2000.

Wood Technology Example Photos

Photo Credit: A student attempts to identify a wood block by whittling the end to reveal structural features at the 58th Southern Forestry Conclave hosted by Mississippi State University. Thanks to the Mississippi State University Forestry Club for providing this photo.

Photo Credit: Students use visual features and hand lenses in attempting to identify wood blocks at the 58th Southern Forestry Conclave hosted by Mississippi State University. Thanks to the Mississippi State University Forestry Club for providing this photo.

Academic Background

Wood is among the most important sustainable natural resources to mankind, and has been in use since prehistoric times. Wood products create shelters, fuels, weapons, tools, boats, vehicles, bridges, paper, films, basic chemicals, and thousands of other products. Wood forms the foundation of a multi-billion dollar per year industry in every state in the US South, which as a region produces more wood per year than any other country in the world. Identification of wood to genus or species is a critical skill for those in the forest products industry, as different species have different structural, mechanical, and chemical properties that dictate how they may be used in various end-products such as lumber, plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), timbers, laminated beams, paper, cardboard, and myriad other products.


Wood Technology Websites

Wood Identification How to Identify Lumber

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Wood Identifications Examples

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Hardwood Identification

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Wood Technology Master Species List

By rule, only those woods given in "Key to Coniferous Woods - Gross Features" and "Key to Hardwoods - Gross Features" in

Pashin, Alexis J. and de Zeeuw, Carl. (1980) Textbook of Wood Technology (4th ed). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. ISBN: 0070484414.

may be used as test material. These are found on pages 411 to 415, and 502 to 512, respectively. The spreadsheet below contains all species listed in this text on these pages, and thus may serve as a master list. The key does not separate all groups to species (e.g. hard pines, Pinus spp.), and the event rules state that when the key does not differentiate between two or more species, the judges will advise the contestants which name to use. A notes column with suggestions on how to handle these situations is provided.

Click here for the XLSX file

Past Wood Technology Species Lists

Conclave Year Host Species List
48 2005 Stephen F. Austin State University PDF
50 2007 University of Tennessee PDF
51 2008 University of Florida PDF
53 2010 University of Arkansas - Monticello PDF
54 2011 University of Georgia PDF
55 2012 North Carolina State University PDF
56 2013 Auburn University PDF
57 2014 Virginia Tech NONE
58 2015 Mississippi State University PDF
59 2016 Clemson University PDF
60 2017 Stephen F. Austin State University PDF
61 2018 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College PDF
62 2019 Louisiana State University PDF
63 2022 University of Tennessee PDF
64 2023 Louisiana Tech University PDF