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Alder

 
 Common Name This wood is also known by European Alder, Black Alder, Common Alder, European black alder, or just alder
Scientific Name Alnus glutinosa
Distribution The European black alder is native to nearly the entire continental Europe (except for both the extreme north and south) as well as the united kingdom and Ireland. In Asia, its range includes Turkey, Iran, and Kazakhstan, and in Africa, it is found in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. It is planted within the Azores. It has been introduced, either accidentally or by intent, to Canada, US, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Its natural habitat is in the damp ground close to rivers, ponds, and lakes however it also can grow in drier locations and generally happens to grow in mixed woodland and on forest edges. It tolerates a variety of soil sorts and grows best at a pH scale of between 5.5 and 7.2. Attributable to its association with the nitrogen-fixing bacteria Frankia alni, it will grow in nutrient-poor soils wherever few different trees thrive.
Tree Size This tree can grow upto a height of about 65-80 ft (20-25 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of about 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m). 
Dried Weight ( average )  31 lbs/ft3 (495 kg/m3).
Specific Gravity .38, .50
Janka Hardness 650 lbf (2,890 N)

 

The Alder or otherwise known as common alder is claimed to be native to most of Europe, southwest Asia, and the northern continent. It thrives in wet locations wherever its association with the microorganism Frankia alni allows it to grow in poor quality soils. It additionally surrounds forest edges, swamps, and riverside corridors.

It is interesting to notice that there are some myths and beliefs associated with this wood which can sound quite magical to some. The primary one being wet and marshy, alder woods, or carrs, were thought to have a mysterious atmosphere. It is also believed that the green dye from the flowers was used to color and camouflage the garments of outlaws like Robin Hood, and was thought to additionally color the garments of fairies. Once it was cut, the pale wood turned a deep orange, giving the impression of bleeding. Owing to this, many folks feared alder trees, and also the Irish thought it was unlucky to pass one on a journey.

The alder tree additionally referred to as the European Alder is usually far-famed for its  symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Frankia alni, that forms nodules on the roots of those trees. This bacterium absorbs nitrogen from the air and fixes it in an obtainable or more absorbable kind which might be easily absorbed by the tree. This method is called nitrogen fixation. This method is claimed to boost the fertility of the soil, replenish the soil with nutrients, and make it abundant with helpful microbes and bacteria. In return, the microorganism receives carbon dioxide created by the tree through a chemical process. As this relationship improves the fertility of the soil, this tree has been established as a crucial pioneer species in natural ecological succession. 

Although the tree contains a wide distribution throughout Europe and is often found close to wet areas like ponds and marshes, Alder has not been used unremarkably for lumber or carpentry functions. One historical use wherever the timber has been utilized comes from an unlikely source: for despite its poor sturdiness on top of the ground, (where it quickly rots and decays), Alder is sort of sturdy underwater, and has been used for piles and supports: most notably throughout the town of the urban center, Italy.

As an introduced species, the alder tree has significant potential to affect the ecology of its new habitat. It is an invasive tree and might quickly form dense woods wherever even the slightest light reaches the ground, and this might inhibit the growth and development of native plants. With the presence of the nitrogen-fixing bacterium and the annual accumulation of leaf litter from the trees also alters the nutrient content of the soil completely. It additionally will increase the supply of phosphorus within the soil, and also the tree's dense network of roots will cause the increased sedimentation rate in pools and waterways. It spreads simply by wind-borne seed, is also spread to a particular extent by birds, and also the woody fruits will float aloof from the parent tree. Once the tree is hewn, regrowth happens from the stump, and logs and fallen branches will settle. A. glutinosa is classed as an environmental weed in New Zealand.


Color and Appearance: The wood of European Alder tends to be a light tan to auburn. Eventually, the color darkens and reddens with age that is especially thanks to overexposure of the wood to the daylight. This may be viewed in several alternative exotic hardwoods. there's no visible separation between the heartwood and the sapwood of this wood. The general grain pattern and look are similar to Birch (Betula genus) although this wood is way redder than Birch, and each genus is derived from an equivalent family, Betulaceae.

Grain and Texture: European Alder has closed pores and is fairly straight-grained with an identical texture. Alder machines well and is great for turning. once stained, it blends with walnut or cherry. The grain is typically straight, however may also be wild or irregular depending on the growing variety of every individual tree.

Workability: European Alder is extremely simple to figure with each hand and machine tools; it stands easy. The wood is quite soft, however, and care should be taken to avoid denting it in some applications. European Alder has wonderful gluing, staining, and finishing properties; it additionally turns well and behaves the same as Black Cherry.

Odor: There is no characteristic odor produced while working with this wood.

Availability: European Alder is rarely available as lumber. Board widths are likely to be narrow as a result of the small diameter of the tree itself. When available, the price should most likely be moderate. This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices and is pleased to be reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: The alder tree is used as a pioneer species and to stabilize river banks, to help in flood management, to purify water in soggy soils, and to moderate the temperature and nutrient standing of water bodies. It is grown by itself or in mixed-species plantations, and also the nitrogen-rich leaves falling to the ground enrich the soil and increase the assembly of such trees like walnut, politician fir, and poplar on poor quality soils. Although the tree will live for up to 160 years, it is best cut for timber at 60 to 70 years before heart rot sets in.

The timber is not used wherever strength is needed within the construction industry, however, is employed for paper-making, the manufacture of fiberboard, and also the production of energy. underwater the wood is extremely sturdy and is employed for deep foundations of buildings. The wood is employed in joinery, each as solid timber and as veneer, wherever its grain and color are appreciated, and it takes dye well. Because the wood is soft, versatile, and somewhat lightweight, it can be simply worked as well as split. It's valued in turnery and carving, in creating articles of furniture, window frames, clogs, toys, blocks, pencils, and bowls.

It is conjointly the standard wood that's burnt to provide smoke-dried fish and different smoke-dried foods. It provides prime quality charcoal. The leaves of this tree are sticky and if they're spread on the ground of a room, their adhesive surface is alleged to lure fleas.

The bark of the alder tree has historically been used as a restorative (a substance able to restore traditional health). Boiling of the bark has been accustomed to treat swelling, inflammation, and rheumatism, as an emetic, and to treat sore throat and pharyngitis. Ground-up bark has been used as an associate ingredient in toothpaste, and also the inner bark will be boiled in vinegar to supply a skin wash for treating dermatitis, lice, and itch. The leaves are accustomed to scale back breast discomfort in nursing mothers and folks remedies advocate the utilization of the leaves against numerous kinds of cancer. Alpine farmers are said to use the leaves to alleviate rheumatism by putting a heated bag full of leaves on the affected areas. Alder leaves are consumed by cows, sheep, goats, and horses although pigs refuse to eat them. consistent with some folks, consumption of alder leaves causes the change of color of the tongue and is harmful to horses. In a research study, extracts from the seeds of the alder tree are found to move against all the eight infective bacteria against which they were tested.

Bowls Made With Alder
Beautiful Salad Bowls - Alder
Alder Bowl
Alder Body Blanks

 

Frequently asked Questions

 

The wood of European Alder tends to be a light tan to auburn. Eventually, the color darkens and reddens with age that is especially thanks to overexposure of the wood to the daylight. This may be viewed in several alternative exotic hardwoods. there's no visible separation between the heartwood and the sapwood of this wood. The general grain pattern and look are similar to Birch (Betula genus) although this wood is way redder than Birch, and each genus is derived from an equivalent family, Betulaceae.

 

The bark of the European black alder has long been used in tanning and dyeing. The bark and twigs contain 16% to 20% tannin however their quality in tanning are restricted by the strength related to the color they manufacture. Depending on the mordant and also the ways used, numerous reminders brown, fawn, and yellowish-orange hues will be imparted to wool, cotton, and silk. Alder bark may be used with iron sulfate to make a black dye that may substitute for the use of shrub or galls. The Laplanders are aforesaid to chew the bark and use their secretion to dye animal skin. The shoots of the European black alder manufacture a yellow or cinnamon-colored dye if cut early within the year. other parts of the tree also are employed in dyeing; the catkins will yield a green color and also the fresh wood a pinkish-fawn color.

 

The most common uses for the black alder wood are for making veneer, plywood, charcoal for gunpowder, clogs, piles/supports, and turned items. It is also used as a pioneer species to stabilize the ecosystem. It also has significant uses in the paper making industry, production of energy, production of smoked fish and food, making high quality charcoal. In the medical field it is used as a medicine for swelling, rheumatism, dermatitis, against various kinds of cancer etc. 

 

The European black alder is native to nearly the entire continental Europe (except for both the extreme north and south) as well as the united kingdom and Ireland. In Asia, its range includes Turkey, Iran, and Kazakhstan, and in Africa, it is found in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. It is planted within the Azores. It has been introduced, either accidentally or by intent, to Canada, US, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Its natural habitat is in the damp ground close to rivers, ponds, and lakes however it also can grow in drier locations and generally happens to grow in mixed woodland and on forest edges. It tolerates a variety of soil sorts and grows best at a pH scale of between 5.5 and 7.2. Attributable to its association with the nitrogen-fixing bacteria Frankia alni, it will grow in nutrient-poor soils wherever few different trees thrive.



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