Alder color

The effects of age on the coloration of lumber cut from alder logs. August 10, 2000

All the alder I have cut in the past few weeks turned very red within a few days of cutting (I air-dried it outside). Even the stuff that I brought right into my shop (which has a controlled temperature) turned very red.

Did you have fresh logs? Old logs have severe coloring problems.

The color results from the oxidation of extractives in the wood. (It is like an apple that turns color after you have taken a bite.)

Kiln drying must start within a few hours to avoid coloring. Steaming can enhance coloring, and will develop uniform color throughout the wood.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator