When Freshly cut, the timber is almost white, turning light reddish-brown upon exposure to air. The grain is usually straight,
while the texture is close and even. While the coloring is delicate, the wood is without any outstanding figure. It is odorless and
tasteless and has a low luster. Alder is moderately strong for a lightweight wood but cannot be recommended where high strength is a
Alder is easily worked with tools, but they should be sharp
to obtain the best surfaces. Nail and screw holding properties are not particularly
good, but glue adheres well. In spite of its softness, it can be turned
with satisfactory results and is a useful species for carving, either by
or by machine. It finishes quite easily, takes stain nicely
and can be used to match other cabinet woods in color.
Since it holds its shape well after seasoning, an important use is as a core for valuable woods such as walnut or mahogany. Other uses include veneer,
furniture of all types and cabinetry.