Latin name: Alnus glutinosa
Also known as: common alder, black alder (UK), aune (France), els (Netherlands), erle (Germany)
Density (mean, Kg/m³):
Available at specialist timber merchant
Tool handles, Furniture
Reddish brown (Light and dull)
Not listed in CITES. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.
Alder occurs in Europe from Scandinavia and north Russia southwards. It is common throughout the British Isles and is found in north Africa and western Asia.
A small to medium-size tree, attaining a height usually between 15m and 27m and a diameter of 0.3m to 1.2m. It enjoys damp situations along streams, and reaches its best development when growing in moist loam upon which rain has washed down layers of humus from woods at higher elevations.
There is no distinction by colour between sapwood and heartwood, the wood being a dull, light reddish-brown colour, without lustre, soft. and light in weight, about 530 kg/m³ when dried.
The timber dries fairly rapidly with little degrade.
It has no reputation for strength, being comparable to poplar in general strength properties, although a little harder and rather more resistant in shear.
Medium to good - Easy to work and finish provided tools are kept sharpened. It takes glue, stains and polish, and nails and screws satisfactorily. and is a fairly good turnery wood.