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Alder tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Alder trees are very common throughout the northern temperate zones of the world. The scientific name of European alder is Alnus glutinosa. This tree is part of the betualaceae family that counts over 35 species. Alder trees prefer wet areas and are often found near riversides and lakes. Alder wood and lumber have many uses even in famous places like Venice Italy!


Alder tree, leaf and flower description

The European alder can grow to heights up to 80 feet or 25 meter. Almost all members of this family are deciduous trees. Leaves of the alder tree are egg shaped and about 2-3 inch or 4-9 cm long. Catkins are the flowers of the elder tree. They can reach lengths up to 4 inches or 9 cm and vary in color from green to yellow.


Alder tree bark and trunk

Young alder trees have smooth dark brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark becomes more dark and grey like. The bark of older alder trees also gets scaly. The diameter of the trunk varies from 12 - 46 inch or 30 to 120 cm depending on the age of the tree.


Alder wood properties and durability

Alder wood is pale yellow with a light reddish brown tone. There is no real distinction between the heartwood and the sapwood. Alder wood has a fine texture and is straight grained. The average dried weight of alder wood at a moisture content of 12% is 530 kg per cubic meter. The durability of alder wood is classed as V low durability above ground. Under water the durability of alder wood is much better.


Alder wood working tips and uses

Alder wood is moderately soft with low bending strength, shock resistance and moderately strong. Alder wood nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. Alder wood is used in many products as toys, plywood, veneer, broom and brush handles and clogs. Due to the good durability of the wood underwater it is often used for piles and support in famous cities like Venice in Italy.

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