Red Alder is almost white when freshly cut but quickly changes on exposure to air to light brown with a yellow or reddish tinge. Heartwood is formed only in trees of advanced age and there is no visible boundary between sap and heartwood. The wood is fairly straight grained with a uniform texture.
Red alder machines well and is excellent for turning and polishing. It nails, screws and glues well, and can be sanded, painted, or stained to a good finish. It dries easily with little degrade and has good dimensional stability after drying.
Red alder is a relatively soft hardwood of medium density that has low bending strength, shock resistance and stiffness.
The wood is non-resistant to heartwood decay, but is permeable for preservation treatment.
Furniture, kitchen cabinets, doors, interior mouldings, turnings, carving and kitchen utensils.