Natural light alder, wood texture on a cut closeup. Background.

Alder (Alnus rubra) Ratings 1 to 5 (best)

Alder (Alnus rubra) Ratings 1 to 5 (best)
  • Maching


  • Nailing


  • Screwing


  • Gluing


  • Finishing



Principally in the Pacific Northwest, where it is the most abundant commercial hardwood. 

General Description

Red Alder 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 are and this is no visible boundary between sap and heartwood. The wood is fairly straight-grained with a uniform texture. 


Available in dimension stock and lumber. 

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. 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. 

Main Uses

Furniture, kitchen cabinets, doors, shutters, moldings, turning, carvings, and kitchen utensils.