Family: Birch family (Betulaceae)
Origin: The Pacific Northwest
Other Common Names: Black Alder, Red Alder, Gray Alder, Green Alder, White Alder
The Tree: Alder trees are generally 40-80 feet tall. The leaves are egg-shaped and veiny, with small, cone-shaped fruit.
Appearance: The wood has a straight, even grain that is consistent in its warm honey, color.
Density: Moderate density. Average reported specific gravity is 0.45 (ovendry weight/green volume), equivalent to an air-dried weight of 28 pcf. Janka hardness is 590 pounds of force.
Drying & Shrinkage: Alder wood should be properly seasoned to 6-7.5% moisture content. Average reported radial shrinking is 4.4%, and tangential shrinking is 7.3%.
Working Properties: Due to its density, Alder wood is easy to use with hand tools or machinery. It's a great wood to use to glue, stain or finish.
Durability: Alder wood is considered a hard wood, less hard than oak or maple.
Uses: Great for hardwood furniture-making, electric guitars, veneer, and more.
Availability: Abundantly available in the Pacific Northwest.