Red Alder is the largest species of Alder in North America and one of the largest in the world, reaching heights of 19 to 29 m (65 to 97 ft). The tallest red alder recorded stood (105ft) tall. The name is from the bright reddish color that develops on bruised or scraped bark. The wood is favored for cabinet makers and is also used for furniture. It has become popular due to its lower price when compared to other hardwoods. In the world of musical instrument construction, red alder is valued for bass and electric guitar bodies as it has good tonal qualities and is very light for its size. The lighter the guitar, the less tired the musician at the end of a concert. Alder is frequently used by Native Americans for making bowls, masks, handles, and other small articles. The wood has an oily smoke when it burns lending itself to smoking fish (primarily salmon) in the Pacific Northwest.
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