Wood collection

The George Day wood collection was donated to the then Forest Research Institute (then part of the New Zealand Forest Service) by the Vanderwee family in 1979 and now forms part of the Scion wood collection containing approximately 8,000 wood samples from over 70 countries. These have been collected by exchange with institutes in other countries. Important collections include LL Williams (Peru, Mexico), Krukoff (Brazil), Acosta-Solis (Ecuador), Smith (USA) and a large general collection by JA Buchanan. The xylarium includes collections of Pacific timbers associated with Foreign Aid collaborations by the NZ Forest Service in the 1970s.

George Day, 2.6.1903 - 6.3.1978, was a Yorkshireman who came to New Zealand in the nineteen twenties. He married Edna Pannill of Albany Auckland whose father George, an orchardist, was well known for cultivating the Albany Surprise grape. The pair remained in Auckland raising a family and struggling during the Great Depression, which prompted George to help the lot of the workers. Though winning scholarships himself, he was denied continuing education as a young man but being a natural academic, was soon taking an interest in politics, workers' education, Esperanto, philosophy and botany, as well as writing and creating works of art. During his life he was a builder, but whenever he had spare time he went tramping through the Waitakere Ranges examining the variety of trees there and eventually joined the International Wood Collectors Society in the U.S.A. George lived in harmony with nature. His wood collection lives on, each piece handcrafted and polished.

To assist with wood identification enquiries Scion uses this wood collection to compare with unknown timbers. We also have contacts with other wood identification experts around the world through the International Association of Wood Anatomists.

We charge a fee for wood identification services, which varies depending on the nature of the enquiry. Please contact us for an estimate of the cost involved and for advice on what type of sample to send us.


Lloyd Donaldson, Scientist