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 1800 wood samples from New Zealand and around the world. The collection includes some rare and endangered species such as Alerce from Chile, as well as some examples of swamp wood from buried forests at various locations in New Zealand.

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 has an extensive xylarium - a collection of wood samples covering thousands of species from all over the world. This collection can be used 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