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True, there are many species of this kind of wood all over the world, but the one that’s chiefly used in woodworking remains the Red Alder. Birch, being a hardwood, is far more durable than any other hardwoods. While alder can be used for these purposes, it has several other uses too, as birch wood does too. Blackfeet Indians have traditionally used an infusion made from the bark of red alder to treat lymphatic disorders and tuberculosis. If you have domestic pets, make sure that you trim their nails periodically so that they do not gouge the floor. It is prone to showing wear and tear marks than other hardwood types. Alder leaves and sometimes catkins are used as food by numerous butterflies and moths. Alder belongs to the birch family and grows around the world throughout the north temperate zone, a large area which extends from the Tropic of Cancer to the Arctic Circle. Here are some differences between these kinds of hardwood: Color and appearance: European Alder ranges between being a light tan to a rust brown, darkening progressively with age. This softwood can be cut by a molder knife easily and can be put through a molder faster than any other hardwood. A. glutinosa and A. viridis are classed as environmental weeds in New Zealand. Alder fits the rustic modern look which is prevalent in mountain and ski lodge design, while also growing in popularity within urban design. Homeowners who want to pick the best wood for their wooden furniture are often confused when it comes to alder wood, as they wonder if alder is a hardwood. If it shows up any defects, it can also be easily and affordably culled. As a hardwood, alder is used in making furniture, cabinets, and other woodworking products. Studies show that Sitka alder, a more shrubby variety of alder, adds nitrogen to the soil at an average of 55 pounds per acre (60 kg per ha) per year, helping convert the sterile glacial terrain to soil capable of supporting a conifer forest. The flowers are catkins with elongate male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins, often before leaves appear; they are mainly wind-pollinated, but also visited by bees to a small extent. What Average Teak Wood Price You Can Expect From Your Manufacturer? Raw Elder displays certain characteristics of grain such as burls, sound cracks, closed knots and worm holes, which go to show its true and natural beauty. A relatively small tree, reaching about 50ft in height and producing a trunk in diameter up to 15". Ermanno Olmi's movie The Tree Of Wooden Clogs (L' Albero Degli Zoccoli, 1978) refers in its title to alder, typically used to make clogs as in this movie's plot.[13][14]. Being versatile, it can bring about any look, from being part of either a sophisticated setting or a casual one. On the other hand, Birch is smooth with grains that may be curly, straight or wavy. It also sands very well and being a soft wood, woodworkers should take care not to dent it. If one is on a budget, alder is a good choice as you get all the goodness of birch at half the price. A light-colored wood, Birch ranges in color from cream to pale yellow. What Kind of Wood Is Alder?. The alder is a deciduous hardwood tree that's a member of the birch family. [9], Alder bark contains the anti-inflammatory salicin, which is metabolized into salicylic acid in the body. Well, alder is a bit blotchy. The genus is divided into three subgenera: Subgenus Alnus: Trees with stalked shoot buds, male and female catkins produced in autumn (fall) but stay closed over winter, pollinating in late winter or early spring, about 15–25 species, including: Subgenus Clethropsis. Weight. The largest species of alder are the red alder, which is commonly found in North America along the west coast, and the black alder which is native to Europe. Grain: European Alder has an even and fine grain with closed pores. Alders are common among the first species to colonize disturbed areas from floods, windstorms, fires, landslides, etc. Recent clinical studies have verified that red alder contains betulin and lupeol, compounds shown to be effective against a variety of tumors. “Is Alder a hardwood?” Well, it is a soft hardwood, but with its other defining characteristics, it acts just like any typical hardwood and is therefore readily chosen to make furniture and other hardy woodworking projects. Such Alder is said to be “clear” and is held in high esteem by professional woodworkers and customers. Durability: When used for flooring, Alder wood isn’t very durable. Its wood is also very prone to insect infestation. [3], The common name alder evolved from the Old English word alor, which in turn is derived from Proto-Germanic root aliso. Trees or shrubs with stalked shoot buds, male and female catkins produced in autumn (fall) and expanding and pollinating then, three species: Subgenus Alnobetula. Red alder is the Pacific Northwest's largest alder and the most plentiful and commercially important broad-leaved tree in the coastal Northwest. This bacterium is found in root nodules, which may be as large as a human fist, with many small lobes, and light brown in colour. Birch wood has wide applications in making cabinets because it produces excellent quality plywood that is at once readily available, stable and affordable. Shrubs with shoot buds not stalked, male and female catkins produced in late spring (after leaves appear) and expanding and pollinating then, one to four species: Genus of flowering plants in the birch family Betulaceae, "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew", "Plant Search Result, see e.g. Stain should only be applied briefly to the surface of alder because the longer the stain sits on the surface, the darker the alder gets. Alder wood chips are made from alder trees, which belong to the birch family. The bacterium absorbs nitrogen from the air and makes it available to the tree. It is also used to make musical instruments like drums. sinuata (A. sinuata, Sitka Alder or Slide Alder), characteristically pioneer fresh, gravelly sites at the foot of retreating glaciers. Even though it is considered a hard wood it is one of the softest of all the hardwoods and is sometimes called a semi-hardwood. Alder, in turn, provides the bacterium with sugars, which it produces through photosynthesis. The largest species are red alder (A. rubra) on the west coast of North America, and black alder (A. glutinosa), native to most of Europe and widely introduced elsewhere, both reaching over 30 m. By contrast, the widespread Alnus alnobetula (green alder) is rarely more than a 5-m-tall shrub. Any defective pieces can be used for structural purposes while the good portions can be used for furniture or any other woodworking projects. The Alder tree takes about 25-40 years to mature and begins to mark a decline in quality of wood after age 70 years. Because of its abundance, red alder delivers large amounts of nitrogen to enrich forest soils. [11], The inner bark of the alder, as well as red osier dogwood, or chokecherry, is used by some Indigenous peoples of the Americas in smoking mixtures, known as kinnikinnick, to improve the taste of the bearberry leaf.[12]. Resistance to rot and decay: Alder doesn’t have a high resistance to rot and decay, so it is advisable to use this wood for indoor furniture alone. The catkins of some alder species have a degree of edibility, and may be rich in protein. The genus comprises about 35[2] species of monoecious trees and shrubs, a few reaching a large size, distributed throughout the north temperate zone with a few species extending into Central America, as well as the northern and southern Andes. Any defective pieces can be given a glossy coating by applying lacquer which penetrates the of! Cabinets because it produces excellent quality plywood that is at once readily available, stable and affordable DIY... To adverse weather stains and finishes well too and overall behaves much like Black Cherry good portions can be a. “ clear ” and is sometimes called a semi-hardwood between its heartwood and sapwood commonly found near streams rivers. 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