Wood samples need to be identified for all sorts of reasons, and they come in all shapes, sizes and conditions. I’ve received samples that were sound, samples that were waterlogged, samples that were rotted or otherwise degraded, painted samples, furniture samples, even samples containing wood preservatives. Most of the samples I receive have a North American origin, but I also receive pieces from art museums and antique dealers that can originate from just about anywhere. This sometimes means that identifying the sample by a common name alone doesn’t provide enough information.
Conners, Terry, "First Steps in Identifying Wood" (2015). Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications. Paper 126.