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Wood Species 101: Knotty Alder

Welcome to Wood Species 101! 

Wood Species 101: Knotty Alder showcase image

In this new series, we will share some basic information about wood species. Every week, we will post some interesting information and facts about the wood species we currently offer, such as:

  • Common names
  • Scientific name
  • Geographic distribution
  • Wood appearance 
  • Common uses
  • Price 

This week, we will talk about a very popular specie: Knotty Alder.Only 20 years ago, no one had even heard of Alder as a lumber choice. But alder now has an excellent reputation for machining, and it is considered asoftwood specie. There are many reasons why Alder became such favored wood lumber, so without further ado, let’s get into it!


Commons Names

This species is commonly known as Red Alder, Western Alder, Knotty Ader, and Coast Alder.

Knotty Alder: common and scientific names

Scientific Name

Alder’s scientific name is Alnus Rubra.


Geographic Distribution

Red Alder geographic distribution

A native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Alder is a toothed leaf tree that usually grows between 100 and 130ft tall. You can easily spot Alder trees in:



Wood Appearance

The Alder’s lumber tends to have a light coloration. The wood color ranges from white through light brown to a reddish hue. The lumber usually darkens and reddens as the tree gets older.

Knotty Alder: wood appearance and coloration

Common Uses

Knotty Alder common uses 

Due to abundance and workability, Alder is vastly used in a variety of industries and projects. Some of the most popular and common uses for Alder’s Lumber are:

Musical Instruments,
Knotty Alder used in doors example



Knotty Alder price information

Knotty Alder is a very inexpensive and budget-friendly wood specie and has become one of customer’s and professional’s favorite species due to its vast availability.

Fun Facts

fun facts about Knotty Alder
  • Alder is widely used to smoke salmon in the pacific northwest;
  • The greatest volume of trees occurs around Washington's Puget Sound and in Northwest Oregon;
  • The dark knots are the hardest spots on the surface and should be carefully considered when cutting the lumber.


We hope you enjoyed this post! Next week we will talk about Maple.

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