The alder, also known frequently as common alder or black alder, is a tree species that nowadays is extending across Europe and southeast of Asia. Its origin of provenance is humid places and riparian forests. On the other hand, another species known as red alder grows up in the northeast region of the Pacific, in the west coast of the United States. This species owns an elegant quality for Cabinet furniture, and it is sold as planed timber.
The alder wood has an almost white colour, but once it is cut down the tree and its interior gets exposed in contact with air, it acquires a light brown shade with a yellow or reddish tinge. There is no visible boundary between the sapwood and the heartwood, except in very old species.
The alder wood has a fairly straight vein and a uniform texture. Its composition is light and it has a smooth surface and closed porosity.
The heartwood of the alder wood is resistant to decay, so it is very important to protect it from pests attack in common household furniture, because it is susceptible to them. However, it is possible to apply protective and preservative dyes to prevent its corruption.
Alder wood is the most important species of hardwoods in the region of USA where they breed. It has a moderate flexibility, so its use is limited and delicate. However, it provides a good cut and polished, and the result is very fine for elegant furniture.
One of the most characteristic uses of alder wood is building guitars and handles of household utensils (like brooms, brushes, textile rollers, kitchen utensils…). There are also toys built with this type of wood, as well as workbenches, various types of plates and decorative indoor furniture.