Wood Types

Description: Red Alder is tan to brown in color, complemented by reddish hues. While knots are prevalent in the wood, the knots tend to be small and tight, giving the wood the signature rustic look that pine is so well known for, Knotty Pine is dimensionally stable and durable. Ranking among the leading cabinet woods of this country, White Oak is one of the woods most commonly used in furniture both in the form of lumber and as a veneer.

Red alder is immune to Phellinus weirii, a root disease that kills Douglas-fir and other conifers. When I gather bark from trees, I always collect live twigs from the tree us rather than injure the tree by taking strips or chunks of body bark. Red alder is a pioneer species that establishes rapidly in openings created by forest disturbance; it commonly invades newly bared soils after landslides, logging, or fire.

Red alder develops best on elevations below 450 in (1,480 ft) in northern Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Good sites for red alder are generally found along streams, in moist bottomlands, and on lower slopes. This makes alder ideal as windbreaks near farms and as an introduction of biomass to devastated areas. A stand of red alder can provide up to 705 pounds (320 kg) of nitrogen every year!

In summer or fall, red alders produce bumper crops of small cones up to 1.5 inches long. Its pale brown satiny wood is soft textured, resembles the grain of American Walnut but is much lighter in color and does not afford as hard a surface. There are many more statistics that show Alder being in the low end of the hardwood category. The hardness of Hard Maple makes possible the design of intricate patterns in relief, beautiful carvings and slender turnings.

In addition, red alder trees have a widespread root system that makes them ideal for preventing soil erosion along river banks. When representative red alder trees are present, site index should be estimated with either the 20-year base age (Harrington and Curtis 1985) or the 50-year base age (Worthington et al. 1960). Maple is divided into two groups: Hard maple, which includes sugar and black maple; and soft maple, which includes red and silver maple. Accsys Technologies now offers the North American species red alder as part of its line of modified-wood products. In cigar box manufacture the wood is either covered by a thin Cedar veneer or the wood is marked and stained to simulate Spanish Cedar.

Strategies for managing mixtures include (1) delaying the establishment of red alder for at least 3 to 6 years, (2) maintaining a low proportion of red alder in the stand (10 to 20 percent by stem count) and, (3) managing mixtures in small patches of single species, similar to most natural mixtures. Red alder has a number of foliage and catkin diseases, but none are economically important.

The alder bark beetle (Alniphagus aspericollis) breeds primarily in slash and in young stressed trees; however, healthy trees can be attacked when bark beetle populations are high (5). Red alder has indeterminate height growth; thus, height growth continues through the growing season until soil moisture, temperature, or light conditions become unfavorable. Since the wood is pretty soft, you will go though a lot of alder in a short period of time.

Although both species have the same dry-wood density at the top, about 0.50, this density will decrease in Tupelo to about 0.25 in the swelled butt and about 0.13 in the roots to make the rootwood just as light as Balsa wood. The sapwood is very broad and lighter than the heartwood, which ranges between light brown and red when fresh, but darkens quickly to a dark red-brown because of its high tannin content. It also nails, screws and glues well, making it ideal for furniture production.

It possesses good uniformity of structure and is a wood of low density to suit it well for core veneer in plywood panels to maintain panel stability and minimize shrinkage stresses in the construction. It is also used for cheap flooring, railroad ties, cigar boxes, and more recently for chemical wood pulps. €œRed alder rarely has a figure like other woods, but the rustic look, also known as knotty alder, is used in many high end applications.” Hasegawa said he also has seen a shift in people using red alder, not as a substitute for high-end woods, but because they want red alder.

Red alder, a relative of birch, is almost white when freshly cut but quickly changes on exposure to air, becoming light brown with a yellow or reddish tinge. Basswood is used in the aircraft industy for ribs and flooring, in building, as wall paneling and stock trim that is to be painted or enameled, in general manufacture, for farm tools, laundry appliances, excelsior, advertising accessories, paper pulp, Venetian blinds, and in home workshops, as a general -all-purpose wood. This is at best only a partial list of Yellow Poplar applications as it is used to make thousands of wood products, large and small. Red alder is, however, much more widely distributed as a component of mixed stands.

There are currently a very limited number of herbicides for both site preparation and the release of planted red alder from weed competition. While the essence was being made amber, carnelian, drusy quartz, green tourmaline, red jasper, white moonstone and white with red stillbite gemstones were placed among the plants with the storage (mother) bottles. Careful cutting of the logs produces plain wood of quiet dignity and beauty as well as veneers of many figured types.