A focus on burning Alder as firewood

Opinions often vary on the use of Alder as a firewood.  We are positive, however, that it’s a quick-burning, fragrant wood.  It also makes for great kindling. However, before considering whether to add some Alder logs to your firewood stack, you might want to consider the properties of the tree and what that means for Alder as a solid fuel.

About the alder tree

A member of the birch family, there are different species of alder found around the globe. The black alder is native to Europe, with the larger red alder being found in North America. Alders are typically found growing near bodies of water.

One interesting characteristic of alder trees is that they feature a root nodule, which helps produce a bacteria which improves the soil fertility and provides nitrogen for future species growth.

The alder tree also has a rich heritage and a history of medicinal use. Native Americans used to use bark from the alder to treat poison oak injuries and insect bites. In Europe, the wood was used to create the pilings which form the foundations of the city of Venice.

Alder fire logs

As a solid fuel, Alder kiln dried logs are a good choice. However, because the tree grows quickly this means that it’s often not as dense as more popular firewoods, but it provides a pleasant, sweet aroma and burns well nonetheless. It’s advisable not to burn damp Alder, as it creates a lot of smoke which could be particularly unpleasant indoors. Instead, we recommend seasoned logs should instead be used.

Because alder wood features thin grains, it is remarkably easy to split without creating much of a mess. This makes it a good choice as kindling in conjunction with firelighters in order to get a real blaze going.

Alder makes both fantastic kindling and firewood

Other uses for alder wood

Alder is renowned for producing high quality lumpwood charcoal, which is perfect for outdoor barbecuing. It’s also a popular choice amongst caterers and food producers for flavouring and smoking meats and fish (with salmon in particular benefitting from the smoky smell and flavour).

Alder makes great charcoal

Looking after alder wood

For best results, alder logs should be stacked off the ground in order to prevent the bottom layer from decaying or getting damp.

As with all wood, try and keep it out of the rain

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