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Botanical Name

Alnus rubra

Other Names

Alder, Red Alder, Western Red Alder

Main Color Group

Reddish Brown

Grain Pattern




Avg Dry Weight - LB/FT3


Avg Dry Weight - KG/M3


Janka Hardness - LBF


Janka Hardness - Newtons


Considered to be the most abundant hardwood in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Red Alder has long been used in the region for furniture and cabinetry production — as well as being a popular choice for electric guitar bodies dating back to when the instrument first went into mass production, in the 1950’s. Ranging in color from a light tan to reddish brown, Alder has a soft, lightweight stature — which makes the wood very easy to work, and it finishes and glues well. Alder is typically straight-grained, although knotty pieces can sometimes be wavy or irregular.


Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, millwork, pallets, musical instruments (electric guitar bodies), and chip/pulp wood.

Comments: Red Alder is usually sold in two different grades: knotty, and clear. Clear grades are most desired by cabinet and furniture crafters. Many such tradesmen compare the wood’s cooperative disposition to that of Black Cherry.

Although technically a hardwood, care must be taken with Alder until finished as its surface can be rather soft (thus, denting easily). The wood is decidedly non-durable, so confining its use to indoor applications and treating the wood with some type of hardening finish (such as lacquer) is recommended.

Species Description: Wood Species

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