Wood identification techniques

Wood identification technologies make it possible to trace the timber species and harvest location. Traditional wood anatomy enables scientist to determine genus and family, and even species, depending on the circumstances.

FSC Wood Identification
FSC International / Loa Dalgaard Worm


Technologies such as isotope, DNA and mass spectrometry can also help determine the origin of specific wood samples. Such testing can often determine the forest from where the wood originated provided samples from that forest are available for comparison.

FSC has developed a long-term plan to systematically address integrity risks in the supply chains of its certificate holders. Wood identification technologies are used as part of this plan to determine species and origin of harvest location(s). If you want to submit wood samples for wood ID testing, please contact us.


How can you get your products tested?

Are you interested in wood identification testing? Generally, traditional wood anatomy testing costs USD$100 per component tested and isotope testing costs between USD$600-800 per component tested. Bulk discounts for traditional wood anatomy testing can apply.


Contact us for fiber-testing and inform us about the product you’d like to test and what you’d like to know (e.g. species vs origin, etc.)


We will then advise you regarding the feasibility of different methods of testing and the process involved.


The next steps include completing a submittal form and mailing the form with the physical product to the testing lab, signing a service agreement and paying an invoice for the test(s).


FSC offers low-cost testing to help verify claims on wood and paper products.

Since 2011, FSC, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, has been testing products as a quality control measure. Sample testing offers producers added assurance that can address potential false claims and counterfeiting.

Sample testing of FSC-certified products allows buyers, sellers, and traders to ensure that the products they receive from their suppliers are really what they are claimed to be. FSC also collects wood samples from FSC-certified forests which are used to build an extensive database that forms the basis for the verification of species and origin of a wood or paper products.


FSC_Traditional Wood ID Testing Submittal Form FPL Address May 2019.docx
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