Knotty Alder wood has a very long and distinguished history. From the foundation of Venice to brand new front doors, alder has always been a prized choice by those working with wood.
Alder trees are deciduous, which means that every year they grow new leaves throughout spring and summer, and when fall comes, the leaves eventually drop off and the tree is bare throughout winter. Alder leaves are quite simple, so you may see an alder quite often but not realize it. If there is a tree near you that drops catkins during flowering months (catkins are elongated bunches of flowers), that may be another clue that it is an alder. There is actually more than one type of alder – for example, the red alder is located on the west coast of North America and the black alder can be found in Europe. Alder is a general term used for these trees due to their close heritage.
In North America, when doors, flooring, cabinets, and other structures and items are made of alder, the red alder is the most commonly used, though sometimes white alder – found in the interior of western North America – may be used. Alder is prized for its fine, even texture. The high quality of alder wood makes it an excellent choice for items such as furniture and cabinets. For many years, alder wood was used in Europe for water management equipment. Because of its constant use in water, it is easily seen that alder has a high resistance to moisture.
Many people will compare alder to cherry due to the high quality of the wood. The colors can be similar as well, ranging from the classic red-brown to warm honey colors. When you hear people refer to it as knotty alder, it is because the wood can have a high number of knots which gives it character and appeal. Alder can be an excellent choice for those looking to make their home more rustic, or for those who already have a rustic style home and need new flooring, doors, or other pieces to continue with the overall rustic design.
Alder also does very well when introduced to stains and finishes. Light yet durable, it is a fantastic wood to work with and can be readily enjoyed once installed in the home. If you haven’t considered alder wood for your next project, it is certainly a wood worth looking into.