Alder: Domestic Hardwood

Alder, often referred to as Red Alder, is typically sourced from the Northwest region of the United States. The color of alder ranges from light red to brown and resembles cherry in color and grain. This material was often referred to as the poor man’s cherry when cherry prices were high and alder prices were more reasonable.

It is available in a superior grade, which has minimal knots, and a knotty version that is prized for its character. The superior grade tends to yield boards that are narrower than other hardwoods, typically in a 4-6 inch width range.

Alder can be used in any woodworking or cabinetmaking project and is often used in the musical instrument industry for solid body guitars. 


Origin of Wood TypeNorthwest U.S.
Botanical NameAlnus Rubra
Specific Gravity.43
Avg. Weight Per BF3.4 pounds
Color RangeLight brown to light red
Rarity / AvailabilityReadily available
Typical Avg. Width4 – 6 inches for superior grade
Typical Avg. Length8 – 12 feet long
Avg. Waste Factor25 percent
Wood UsesAny woodworking application/guitars
Lumber GradesSuperior and knotty most common
Other Trade Names Red Alder