American alder (Alnus rubra)
Other names: Red alder, Western red alder, Western alder

West coast USA, principally the Pacific North West, where it is the most common commercial hardwood.

General description
Red alder is almost white when freshly cut but quickly changes on exposure to air to 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 and polishing. It nails, screws and glues well, and can be sanded, painted, or stained to a good finish. 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.

Specific Gravity: 0.41 (12% M.C.)
Average Weight: 449 kg/m3 (12% M.C.)
Average Volumetric Shrinkage: 10.1% (Green to 6% M.C.)
Modulus of Elasticity: 9515 MPa
Hardness: 2624 N

The wood is non-resistant to heartwood decay, liable to attack by the common furniture beetle but is permeable for preservation treatment.

USA: Reasonably available, but strictly limited by region.
Export: Readily available in some markets but limited in others. Available in dimension stock and rough lumber.

Main uses
Furniture, kitchen cabinets, doors, interior mouldings, turning, carving and kitchen utensils.
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