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.
What wood is it and why? Seeing and understanding wood in a whole new way. October 26-27, 2019 (Saturday 9.00am-4.00pm, Sunday 11:00 – 4:00) MYSTIC, CONN – Did you ever look at a piece of wood and wonder what wood it is? And why it looks the way it does? Were you ever confused about which wood it is: mahogany, walnut, cherry, or poplar? (read more)
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.
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 by Ernie Ives -- in the Members Only section under "Wood Identification Content" 121 pages -- Posted 12-07-2016
July-August 2019 President's Message
It’s been a crazy spring in most of the USA, certainly in Northern Indiana. We’ve experienced near record rainfall and it’s been rare to find two days in a row with no rain. Last Monday and Tuesday were the exception and three friends helped me replace the polycarbonate roof panels on my solar kilns. With new clearer panels and several trees removed, all we now need is some sunshine and the lumber drying can begin.
If you haven’t yet sent in your registration for the September 16 - 19 AGM in Shipshewana, Indiana, USA, do so! The agenda and registration form can be found on the website and pages 29-30 in this edition. I’m on the organizing committee and think it will be a bigger and better meet than two years ago at the same venue. We’re trying something different for the auction: I’ve hired a local auctioneer friend who will conduct the wood auction at a bargain price. He has made suggestions on advertising for outsiders and I’m thinking it could be big, maybe huge. Outsiders will pay $10 for a bid number, which will certainly pay the auctioneer’s fee.
I have sawed some material just for the auction which is in the kiln and will be surfaced two sides. Just for starters I will be bringing well over 1,000 board feet of kiln dried, surfaced wood from my retail inventory. So far I have pulled 500 bd. ft. of walnut with smaller amounts of maple, ash and cherry and have lots of ambrosia maple in the kiln which will be ready by auction time. On top of this, I just got a call from the widow of an IWCS member who wishes to liquidate and possibly donate some material for the auction. She sent pictures and it is phenomenal! Included are hundreds of exotic bowl blanks which are sealed, labeled and shelved like library books. If you have material you’ve been considering donating, this is the time. If you’re driving to the meet, rent a truck or trailer and we’ll fill it up. I have a pile of logs I’m donating and will be sawing to your specifications on Tuesday and Wednesday of the meet.
Once unpacked from the Shipshewana meet, get ready for the October 14th - 19th 2019 IWCS AUSTRALASIAN CONFERENCE Meeting based at Ibis Styles in Eaglehawk, Canberra, Australia. The agenda and registration form can be found on the website.
Read about the program for the 2020 Winter Woodfest (Eustis, Florida, USA) and find the registration form on pages 22-23.
We currently have no concrete plans for the 2020 AGM. I’ve spoken to several members about hosting the meeting at their locations with no volunteer as of yet. It’s time to get things going for this meet — a year goes by quickly. Call me!
Lastly, I want to thank Greg Reed, #5796, for his years of service as Endowment Fund Chairperson and Allan Schwindt, #8209L, for taking over. The transition is currently underway. Thanks Guys! 07-21-2019
Articles of Interest on the Web
Ghost Forest Emerges - As the morning sun cut through a veil of fog, an ancient forest emerged from the sand, covered in sea life and enshrouded in mystery. Known as the “ghost forest” of Neskowin, this group of some 100 stumps and snags is all that’s left of a 2,000-year-old stand of Sitka spruce, once buried by an earthquake, now revered as one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in Oregon. 08/21/2019
Penn State Xylarium - As well as a flourishing library, the school by 1909 had a wood collection containing specimens of nearly all of Pennsylvania’s native trees and large shrubs. For each species, cross sections and radial and tangential sections had been prepared to show the gross appearance of the wood. The next step was the preservation of samples in alcohol and glycerin so that sections suitable for microscopic examination could be cut. These latter sections were to be especially useful in the study of timber physics (wood technology)." E.H. Thomas, “A History of the Pennsylvania State Forestry School, 1903 – 1929. 07/20/2019
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, there’s 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. It’s a network that scientists are only just beginning to untangle and map, and it’s not only turning our understanding of forests upside down, it’s leading some researchers to rethink what it means to be intelligent. 06/12/2019
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