For many people, the identification of timbers is carried out simply by just looking at their colours, appearance and some specific features on the timber. However, the identification of timber by the method mentioned has its limitation as most timbers may eventually look alike (especially tropical timbers) after having been exposed to the weather for some times. Therefore, the identification of timber should be based on the examination of features that are known to be reliable, rather than on the features mentioned above.

Every timber or a group of very closely related timbers possesses a characteristic end surface, that is, the cells are so arranged as to produce a distinctive pattern. Thus, the identification of timber requires memorizing these distinctive patterns. It is of course, not an easy task to memorize the various patterns and features of so many types of timber in the market unless he or she is doing it on a regular basis. As such, there is a need to provide some kinds of guidance on the identification of timber based on some important key features of the timber. This wood identification portal is to provide some key features or spot characters of 54 commonly available timbers in Malaysia. The programme will be upgraded to include lesser-known timbers in the future.

For better understanding of the steps required in carrying out wood identification, the users are advised to read the explanation below: