Scientists can make use of different techniques to identify the species to which a piece of wood belongs, and its geographical origin. Depending on the technique used, the test piece can be tiny (e.g. veneer a few millimetres thick or a sliver cut from a piece of art), small (e.g. a few cubic centimetres cut from a piece of furniture) or its actual size (non-destructive methods). In addition to the sample size needed for the analysis, each technique has its advantages and limitations. Consequently, one of GTTN’s goals is to facilitate the integration of these different methods.
Aside from the well-established wood anatomical method, timber-tracking techniques are innovative and still evolving. The most pressing need is to extend the collection of reference data, which form the basis for the verification of species and origin of a traded wood-based product.