Common Alder: Alnus glutinosa
We source English Alder, Scottish Alder, Irish Alder, Welsh Alder as well as European Alder.
Found throughout the UK, Alder covers a range from Northern Russia to Northern Africa, through to Western Asian and Scandinavia.
The timber is a light red-brown, with streaks of darker tones . It is dull, and without lustre. This straight grained timber weighs an average 530 kg/m3: specific gravity .53.
Alder timber is a moderate bending classification, it has low bending strength and resistance to shock loads. It has medium crushing strength but very low stiffness. When setting Alder there is a tendency for checks to occur on the end of bends.
Alder dries rapidly with minimum degrade, it remains strong when in service.
The timber has a low cutting resistance, it is easy to work, however cutting edges should be kept thin and sharp as there will be a blunting of tools during working. Alder is suited to work with nails, screws, and glue. It’s colour is enhanced with the use of stains and polishes.
The wood is susceptible to the common furniture beetle. Alder is perishable but preservative treatments will extend the lifespan of the timber.
Alder is a good all-rounder and has been used for a variety of purposes including: broom and brush handles, clog soles, laminated items, utility plywood and veneers. In Japan gnarled pieces are used for decoration.