Alder

Where it Grows
Principally the Pacific Northwest, where it is the most abundant commercial hardwood. Average height is 90 feet and the tree matures in 25 to 40 years, but will begin to deteriorate by 60 to 80 years of age. Alder grows well on burned over lands and thrives in areas that have been ravaged by fire, earthquakes or logging.

Main Uses
Furniture, kitchen cabinets, doors, shutters, mouldings, panel stock, turnings, carvings and kitchen utensils.

Relative Abundance
2.9 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available.

Did You Know?
Alder is used in the smoking of meats and fish.

General Description
Red alder, a relative of birch, is almost white when freshly cut but quickly changes on exposure to air, becoming light brown with a yellow or reddish tinge. Heartwood is formed only in trees of advanced age and there is no visible boundary between sap and heartwood. The wood is fairly straight-grained with a uniform texture.

Working Properties
Red alder machines well and is excellent for turning. It nails, screws and glues well, and can be sanded, painted, or stained to a good finish. When stained, it blends with walnut, mahogany or cherry. It dries easily with little degrade and has good dimensional stability after drying.

Physical Properties
Red alder is a relatively soft hardwood of medium density that has low bending strength, shock resistance and stiffness.

Strength and mechanical properties