Ratings indicate the degree of difficulty working with this species relative to other hardwoods. A '5' rating is the best. A '1' rating is the most challenging.
Dress it up or leave it natural — Western alder is a species of many guises and disguises.
Natural consistency and beautiful color can give it the visual appeal of cherry, maple or birch. Alder dries to an even honey tone and can be finished to resemble more expensive fine-grained species. There is little color variation between the heartwood and sapwood, making alder also ideal for light or natural finishes. Alder's popularity continues to grow among fine furniture and cabinetry makers worldwide.