Alder, European

Also known as: Black Alder, Grey Alder

Botanical Name: Alnus glutinosa

Origin: West Coast USA, Europe, West Asia, North Africa

Description: The durable timber obtained from Alder has been utilised for many purposes over time, varying from the manufacture of traditional clogs to reportedly being used for the piles supporting the Rialto Bridge in Venice. Most logs, from a decorative veneer production point of view, are of inferior quality, even the better ones displaying features that with other veneers might be considered undesirable. However, some of these minor defects in appearance, especially the irregular fine dark streaks, sometimes known as “hairs”, give the wood its character and have contributed to its use as a furniture veneer, particularly for kitchens and bedrooms. Exact colour varies slightly from log to log but is generally anything from a light pinky biscuit to pale browny yellow. Pips and even small burr clusters are occasionally seen spread along the surface and these can add a more rustic appearance to this useful species. US Alder is a darker pink colour and exhibits less ‘hairs’ but is harder to find butt lengths without knots.

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