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Factsheet S25: Red alder – Alnus rubra

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Red alder (or Oregon / Western alder), Alnus rubra (Syn. A.oregana), is regarded in its native Western North America as a valuable high quality hardwood and also a desirable pulpwood species. As well as being an eminently suitable tree for cultivation in Britain and Ireland, many of its features are shared by the native alder here, Alnus glutinosa, and the high regard it is given in North America contrasts with the low regard alder generally has here. There is huge potential here for utilising both red and European alder as fast growing hardwood timber trees and using the wood for furniture and other items: witness the success of Ikea who use mostly small-diameter Scandinavian birch and conifer wood.

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