Alder is another American hardwood that provides a sustainable solution for effective green design and building! Primarily abundant in the Pacific Northwest, this beautiful hardwood possesses unique properties that are very rare among hardwoods. For one, Alder is a fairly soft hardwood of low to medium density. In addition, it has both low bending strength and stiffness.
Known by the scientific name “alnus rubra,” this wood actually turns color when exposed to the air: nearly white when cut but then gaining a reddish tint upon exposure to the elements. Because there is virtually no discernible difference between heartwood and sapwood, it has a pleasing and uniform appearance. These very same qualities enable the woodworker a lot of flexibility to stain and finish it to resemble species like cherry and maple.
Alder is one of the best hardwoods to use for turnings and carvings as it machines exceptionally well. It nails and glues well also. It can also be sanded and painted leaving you with a very high quality product when all is said and done.
Also, nearly every portion of the alder log is used during the lumber manufacturing process. While the lumber is manufactured into fine furniture or cabinetry, the tree bark becomes mulch for the remainder of the forest!
Alder flowers blossom in the early spring. Despite their incredible beauty, the blooms contain a large amount of pollen which can cause severe reactions in people with allergies. If you suffer from pollen allergies, Alder trees should not be a part of your landscape! So do yourself a favor: use this fine material after it is harvested. If you are a craftsman who is serious about building quality furniture, cabinets, doors, or turnings, call one of our professionals today to inquire about this unique wood!