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What is Western Alder. Watch video of wood finish being applied. Alder trees are naturally smaller than many other commercially desirable hardwood trees. A soft hardwood is the way in which alder trees (Alnus spp) tend to be described.Specifically, it is a member of the birch family (Betulaceae). Firewood Name: Hard or softwood: Comments: Grade: Apple: Hardwood: Needs to be seasoned. It thrives in wet locations where its association with the bacterium Frankia alni enables it to grow in poor quality soils. Images: Drag the slider up/down to toggle between raw and finished wood. Comments: Red alder is the most abundant hardwood in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, and is a commercially important lumber. The color is uniform with virtually no visible difference between the heartwood and sapwood. Good: Ash: Hardwood: Considered one of the best firewoods. The Alder Tree. But don’t let alder’s small size fool you. It has a low water content and can be burned green. Knotty Alder, being true to its name, features large split knots and open knots that vary in size. Alder lumber is not considered to be a durable hardwood, and not recommended for applications; such as decking or stairs. Most alder lumber ranges in length between 6 feet and 12 feet, with the majority either 8 or 10 feet long. Poor . The primary hardwood of the west, alder grows within the southern British Columbia to Northern California region. This is reflected in the more limited widths and lengths of alder lumber. It’s a relatively small tree that only reaches about 90 to 100 feet in height at its 40-60 year maturity, with a trunk diameter of under 2 feet. The wood has good stability with little movement in service once fully dried. Identified as a popular finish hardwood, alder wood is one of the softest hardwoods on the market after, of course, pine and poplar wood. Knotty Alder is a hardwood of medium density that features a color range of light browns with reddish hues. Alnus glutinosa, the common alder, black alder, European alder, European black alder, or just alder, is a species of tree in the family Betulaceae, native to most of Europe, southwest Asia and northern Africa. Owing to its malleable texture, the wood is commonly known as a semi-hardwood. Red Alder is a relatively soft hardwood that is typically a light tan to reddish brown that darkens and reddens with age. Has a nice smell and burns well with a without sparking/spitting. The knots can come in a variety of shapes and colors which can cause the knots to take stain differently than the rest of the wood. 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. Alder: Hardwood: Generally considered a low quality firewood as it burns quickly and provides little heat. The alder is a deciduous hardwood tree that's a member of the birch family. Yes, Alder is a hardwood. 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