International Wood Collectors Society

A Dedicated Group of Wood Collectors and Crafters

Welcome to IWCS - Advancing Information on Wood Since 1947

Highlights of the September 16-19, 2019 AGM at The FARMSTEAD INN CONFERENCE CENTER in Shipshewana, Indiana USA.

2019 Shipshewana
Ervin Gingrich holding a wooden wheel
ready for the steel tire.

You are all invited to come back (or to come for the first time) to experience our renowned "Hoosier Hospitality" at the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of IWCS, September 16-19 (Monday -Thursday) in Shipshewana, Indiana, USA. Roger and Lynn Pletcher # 8016 will host this year's meeting, as they did so ably two years ago. The AGM this year will feature several new tours and more choices of hands-on activities and educational opportunities.

Request for vouchered chestnut samples to assist with a joint American Chestnut Society and Pennsylvania State University research project.

From: Chuck Ray
To: Art , Sara Fern
Date: June 21, 2019 at 11:10 AM
Subject: Penn State/American Chestnut Foundation research project Art, as mentioned in our conversation earlier this week. We have an ongoing project entitled " Quantifying and prioritizing the determinants of wood quality in chestnut variants."


Interested parties have considered wood quality, such as timber value and appearance, in back-crossed and genetically-modified chestnut variants. Until now, such considerations have been anecdotal and based on limited samplings of stems, most of which are apparently juvenile wood. This proposal, which offers a methodology for sampling and analyzing chestnut wood, is a preliminary study to determine and define appropriate parameters to enable future research on the impacts of chestnut breeding on wood properties. Its focus is on American and Chinese chestnut (Castanea dentata and C. mollissima) to bracket the range of properties that relate to restoration chestnut wood quality.


Determine which wood properties in chestnut variants result in statistically significant differences between variants. Based on these findings, prioritize these properties and the statistical parameters of investigation for future, long-term chestnut wood studies. The criteria for prioritization will include importance to wood quality for commercial applications and relationship to desirable growth characteristics.

Art, IWCS members could contribute to this project by loaning us any vouchered chestnut specimens of C. dentata and C. mollissima they may have in their collection for testing of specific gravity and macroscopic inspection. Sanding of surfaces may be required, but no identification marks on the specimens will be sanded. Voucher information should be included with the specimens when they are loaned.

These historical specimens will be compared to the properties obtained from the modern chestnut variants provided by members of the American Chestnut Society. Our findings will be reported in peer-reviewed and popular press. The individual specimen properties will also be provided to those who contribute each one.

Specimens will be required by August 31, 2019, and may be sent to:

The Penn State Xylarium
c/o Charles D. Ray, Ph.D.
215 Forest Resources Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802

Specimens will be returned on or before May 31, 2020.

Those interested and seeking information may contact me at

Thank you for your help in getting this word out to IWCS members.


Charles D. Ray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Wood and Forest Science
Department of Ecosystems Science and Management
The Pennsylvania State University,,

  • IWCS Jan 31, 2019 - Hazards, Planning and Preparing for Working With Wood. 01/31/2019

  • John Hampton

    John Hampton Article in PDF format - taken from WOW Journal. 03-13-2019


  • Now available, Southern African Wood (ISBN 781920217587, Briza Publications, Pretoria, RSA), authored by former IWCS members Stephanie Dyer (#9380), Danielle James and Barry James (#9381). It is a fully illustrated guide to the properties and uses of wood from 140 Southern African tree species. A handful of leather-bound collectors editions remain for $140.00 US dollars plus shipping and handling, and the standard hard cover books are $46.60 US dollars plus shipping and handling. These are discounted 20% for IWCS members. Non-members will be charged $168.50 + S&H for the collectors edition and $57.57 + S&H for the standard. Each copy will be signed by the authors. All copies will be shipped from Pennsylvania, USA. Reserve your copy today by contacting our Northeast Regional Trustee, Mark R. Peet. E-mail: . Updated 05-25-2018


  • IWCS Wood Specimen Kit order form with instructions for selecting and ordering wood specimens from IWCS. Gary is a professional Urban Forester/Sawyer and takes great pride in preparing high quality wood specimens, all properly seasoned, clean, well milled, free from dirt and defects and accurately identified and labeled. As of 08/06/2018


  • Guide to Wood Microtomy
    Guide to Wood Microtomy by Ernie Ives -- in the Members Only section under "Wood Identification Content" 121 pages -- Posted 12-07-2016


Gary Green-PresidentCALL FOR OFFICERS

This call or request is rather unprecedented as most of the following positions are nominated and elected within their respective regions.

Several current officers have held their offices for a number of years and are acting as interim officers until a replacement can be found. A couple have stated that they will soon retire from their positions, replacement or not.

Ordinarily, a trustee, for instance, whose term was about to expire would either chose to re-nominate him/herself for another term or seek someone else who would run, then a regional election would be held. The issue has become that there are now fewer regional meetings and not as much personal interaction within the regions. The Canadian region is vast with members few and very far between.

I know there are interested members out there as I was approached by one at the Florida, USA meet in February. If you have interest you can nominate or re-nominate yourself, contact your Trustee or contact me. Of course, you can nominate an interested party from your region. Here are the vacancies, current and upcoming:

Trustee, Australasia, beginning October 2019. Trustee, Canada, vacant and currently covered by interim. Trustee, UK, vacant and currently covered by interim. Trustee, US Northwest, vacant and currently covered by interim. Trustee, US Southwest, vacant and currently covered by interim. Trustee, US Southeast, beginning October 2019.

In addition, Greg Reed, Endowment Fund Chair, would like to pass this position on to someone else. Geographic location makes no difference and Greg states this position requires little time.

I'm often asked, "what is a trustee supposed to do?" The short answer I provide is, "make sure everyone in your region is happy." For more information turn to page 46 of the 2018 Membership Directory.  05-18-2019


  • From Tree to Shining Tree
    Radio Lab - From Tree to Shining Tree

    Forest can feel like a place of great stillness and quiet. But if you dig a little deeper, thereís a hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city at rush hour. In this story, a dog introduces us to a strange creature that burrows beneath forests, building an underground network where deals are made and lives are saved (and lost) in a complex web of friendships, rivalries, and business relations. Itís a network that scientists are only just beginning to untangle and map, and itís not only turning our understanding of forests upside down, itís leading some researchers to rethink what it means to be intelligent.

  • Just a Piece of Wood
    Just a Piece of Wood
    - Innovative and interesting pieces of wood art. Thirty Three Wood Art Sculptures from everywhere found in an email.

  • Cryptococcosis lung disease caused by the inhalation of fungal sporesCryptococcosis is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of fungal spores of two species of Cryptococcus: Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Cryptococcosis effects humans and animals (e.g., Australian koalas). 01/30/2019

  • Almost Extinct Tree Could Provide Powerful Cancer Fighting Properties Almost Extinct Tree Could Provide Powerful Cancer Fighting Properties 01/28/2019

  • Michael Blankenship Wood Turning Demonstration Michael Blankenship was an invited lecturer/demonstrator for the annual IWCS meeting in St. Charles, Illinois, USA. 01/12/2019

  • IWCS Student Membership Application now includes the "student friendly" rate of $15 USD per year.

  • IWCS Wood Data Sheets. Listings of all ever published.

  •  Charles David Ray, Ph.D.Penn State Wood Pro News by Charles David Ray, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Forrest News from Wood Pro Resources. Updated 04/06/2017

  • Wood blog Forest wood, timber, lumber, biomass, energy wood, pulp wood, wood furniture, wood buildings, and anything else woody you can think of. Because, well, wood is good. And you'll agree if you visit Go Wood every so often. So, read... enjoy... comment... share... and Go Wood! Updated 10/18/2018

  • Searchable index of articles published in the last nine years. As of 03/06/2011

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