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 Expert  722740

Expert in Temperate and Tropical Wood Technology: Properties, Uses, and Identification

Available for your Consulting and Expert Witness Needs

Wisconsin (WI)
Education Work History Career AccomplishmentsPublicationsConsulting Services Expert Witness

Summary of Expertise:

Listed with other top experts in: 

Expert is a world authority in temperate and tropical wood identification. He identifies thousands of wood specimens each year for the wood-using industries, antique collectors, museums, art conservators, research scientists, engineers and architects restoring buildings, and government agencies such as APHIS, U.S. Customs, and crime labs. He has identified charcoal specimens found in various archaeology excavations and from buildings and forest fires. Expert notes that the size of the specimen for identification should be as big as one's hand, but he has identified specimens from thin veneers and as small as toothpick-sized pieces from antiques and even sawdust and wood flour. For accurate results he not only uses his naked eye and hand lens, but also the light microscope.

wood identification


wood structure

Expert worked for more than 35 years in forest products research. A critical part of his position was in technology transfer. This included responding to phone, email, and mail requests and a tremendous number of questions concerning all aspects of wood. In addition to identifying woods from many artifacts sent from many parts of the world, he responded to questions concerning the properties and uses of the wood he identified. Expert notes that questions about the use of exotic woods for outdoor decking and indoor flooring sometimes can be complicated because the common name is not what it appears to be. For example, Brazilian walnut and Brazilian cherry are not at all related to American black walnut and black cherry. If the common name cannot be verified, then a specimen of the wood must be identified before information is given to the customer.

forest product




wood product


tropical wood

Show Secondary and Basic Areas of Expertise
Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Milwaukee, Wisconsin;  Madison, Wisconsin;  Kenosha, Wisconsin;  Racine, Wisconsin;  Appleton, Wisconsin;  Rockford, Illinois;  Aurora, Illinois;  Elgin, Illinois;  Waukegan, Illinois;  and Schaumburg, Illinois.

Year   Degree   Subject   Institution  
1973   Ph.D.   Botany   University of Maryland  
1968   M.S.   Botany   University of Wisconsin  
1966   B.S.   Wood Science   West Virginia University  

Work History:
Years   Employer   Department   Title   Responsibilities

2005 to







Expert retired from the Forest Products Laboratory at the end of 2004 after nearly 39 years of public service. He is a consultant in the fields of wood identification and wood technology.

1970 to 2004


USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory


Center for Wood Anatomy Research


Supervisory Botanist


Expert worked his entire career in the field of wood anatomy and wood identification. For each of the past 35 years, he identified thousands of tropical and domestic wood specimens from lumber, wood products, antiques, and forensic evidence to archaeological and fossil wood. Each year he responded to thousands of phone calls and emails on the physical and strength properties and uses of tropical and domestic woods, wood flooring, and general problems on wood drying and wood preservation, durability, and mold.

Career Accomplishments:

Expert was elected Executive Secretary of International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA) in 1997 and is presently serving in that capacity. He was Deputy Executive Secretary of IAWA from 1989-1997. He served as chairman or co-chairman on many national and international symposia-organizing committees. He has also served on a number of advisory groups and committees for IAWA and other organizations.


In 1994 he received the USDA Honor Award for leadership and dedication in serving the public by performing wood identifications. In 1989 he was the Forest Service's runner-up for the Chief's Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. He also received a number of performance awards for his research and public service.

Publications and Patents Summary

Expert has 110 publications, most of which are in refereed jopurnals.

Selected Publications and Publishers  
 - The Trobenbos Foundation  
 - Interantional Symposium on the Forensic Aspects of Trace Evidence  

Government Experience:
Years   Agency   Role   Description
2004 to 2004   USDA Forest Service, International Forestry   Assistance with Ochoo Stain   In April 2004 he was invited to attend a meeting in Santa Cruz, Bolivia because of his expertise on tropical woods. He was invited to return to Bolivia in August to assist in solving a problem with a stain in ochoo.

Consulting Services:
Selected Consulting Examples:
  • Expert notes that the Customs Bureau needs to determine the species of wood from foreign markets because the Harmonized Tariff Schedule contains rules that govern the rates at which species are taxed. For example, plywood of lauan or meranti (Shorea spp.) from Asia and banak (Virola spp.) from South America are allowed into the United States at a lower rate than are other species. Expert has identified thousands of samples for Customs, especially the more difficult separations or when court cases have been pending. From 1993 to 1995, he taught wood identification courses at the Forest Products Laboratory to 11 scientists from the Customs Laboratory. He has also developed an advanced wood identification course; assisted a scientist in a New Orleans laboratory with a project to scan microscopic images for a data base; commented on a court case for the Office of Assistant Chief Council, NY; and identified an occasional problematic specimen for various U.S. Custom Laboratories.
  • Over the years, the National Park Service has been involved in a number of restoration and archeological projects on National Park lands. Expert has identified woods and charcoal samples from historical buildings. For art objects and furniture, he has provided insight to where the original manufacture was located or who may have made the object, especially for objects made in Europe and shipped to America. Information from this work has been catalogued, archived, and published by conservators.
Recent Client Requests:
  • Expert for consulting on wood species identification.
  • Expert in African vs Honduran Mahogany.
  • Expert in wood identification laboratories for consulting on Wood identification.
  • Expert in wood species identification for consulting on development of course material and the required lessons for course delivery on the subject.
  • Expert for consulting on Construction Management Long Beach NY.
  • Kiln dry lumber expert for consulting on kiln drying of Asian and Brazilian species.
Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding your expert consulting needs.  Expert is available for consulting to corporate, legal and government clients.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Expert Witness:
Expert Witness Experience Summary:
Although he has been a expert witness in many cases, he has only appeared in court twice for the State of Wisconsin, once for the Justice Department and once for the Treasury Department.
Recent Litigation Client Requests:
  • Expert in tropical wood identification for consulting on species of tropical wood used in construction of windows/doors.
  • Wood expert for consulting on exotic hardwood floors.
  • Wood species expert for consulting on wood types.
Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding expert testimony, litigation consulting and support, forensic services, or any related expert witness services.  A few litigation needs include product liability, personal injury, economic loss, intellectual property (patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright), and insurance matters.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

International Experience:
Years   Country / Region   Summary
2004 to 2004   Bolivia   In April 2004 he was invited to attend a meeting in Santa Cruz, Bolivia because of his expertise on tropical woods. He was invited to return to Bolivia in August to assist in solving a problem with a stain in ochoo.


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