Red Alder

Alnus rubra

Trade Names

Red Alder, Oregon Alder

Similar Woods

European Alder, Hard Maple


North America


Red Alder grows along the Paci c Coast of North America, in the south almost to Mexico and in the north to the northern part of Canada, however only in a coastal strip approx. 50 miles wide.


Used in the USA all along as a versatile wood but never for decorative purposes. At the beginning of the nineties in very high demand in Germany as lumber for solid wood furniture. Unlike in other species the defects are not only tolerated but even desired. Nevertheless not obtainable in large quantities in the long run. It can only be used in short lengths (0,50 - 1,20 m) for mass-produced furniture due to the defects in the lumber. Also used for kitchen cabinets, living-room and bedroom furniture.


Light brown to reddish in color, generally with open defects. A great many streaks and open knots.


All machining operations can be carried out without any difficulty. Fibres can be raised when planing at feed speed being to high.


Drying is easy and quick. There is no tendency to distort or warp unless the moisture content drops too abruptly.


All the usual methods can be used for surface treatment and the wood is very suitable for staining and polishing. Preference is given to oils and waxes.


Glue, screw and nail joints can be produced without difficulty and all hold well.