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My intent here is to provide reviews of all the books in my library on wood identification but I've done only a few so far. For a more extensive list of books AND other information (web links, etc) on how to identify woods, see


Here's the complete list of books that I have on hand to review, with links to the few reviews that I HAVE done:

Although I intend to have this section alphabetic for ease of reference, I put the Hoadley books at the top because they just don't have any rivals. They are THE books to get if you are interested in wood characteristics and wood identification.

Understanding Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley --- Hoadley is "the man" when it comes to scholarly works on wood these days. This book will tell you pretty much everything you could want to know about wood, what the various parts of trees are and how they work together as the tree grows and how the characteristics of the micro level constituents contribute to the macro characteristics of the wood.

Identifying Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley --- This is another of Hoadley's scholarly works and it is focused, as the title clearly states, on what you need to know to identify wood. It is an outstanding work.

----- The rest of the pack -----

100 Woods by Peter Bishop

The Book of Wood Names by Dr. Hans Meyer --- A dated work (1936) that is not as comprehensive as you would think when you first leaf through a copy, and it does have some errors, but it is the most comprehensive hard-copy publication that I know of that lists wood names.

Characteristics, Properties and Uses of Timbers, South-east Asia, Northern Australia and the Pacific, Volume 1 by W.G. Keating and Eleanor Bolza

The Complete Woods of Africa by Peter Phongphaew

The Encyclopedia of Wood by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Encyclopedia of Wood edited by Aidan Walker and published by Facts on File Inc

The Encyclopedia of Wood volume of the Time Life series called "The Art of Woodworking"

Good Wood Handbook by Albert Jackson and David Day

A Guide to Useful Woods of the World by James H. Flynn Jr. and Charles D. Holder (The International Wood Collector's Society)

What Wood is That? (A Manual Of Wood Identification) by Herbert L. Edlin --- has 40 little pieces of veneer to help with wood ID

World Woods in Color by William A. Lincoln

WOOD --- Better Homes and Gardens' Classic Woodworking Woods and How to Use Them.

The Wood Book by Romeyn Beck Hough

Wood Identification & Use by Terry Porter

Woodworker's Guide to Wood by Rick Peters [preliminary review]