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Alder hardwood

Super Garden Furniture selected Alder for its higher end sophisticated Cape Cod Chair (also known as a high end Adirondack Chair).

Alder, part of the birch family, also called Oregon alder, western alder, and Pacific coast alder, is the most common hardwood in the Pacific Northwest. Consistent color, stability, and uniform acceptance of stains and finishes are some of the characteristics that have made Western Alder a preferred wood for furniture. Ranking second only to oak as the most commonly used wood, alder offers the look of many fine hardwoods at a value price.

Alder wood has some wonderful characteristics making it ideal for our cape code chair:

  • Alder is a hot commodity. It used to be a more economical maple substitute, but with the advent of modern milling and kiln technology it has come into its own as a hardwood for cabinetry and furniture.
  • Moderately heavy and soft with low bending strength, Alder is shock resistant and decay resistant making it ideal for outdoor use.
  • Alder is softer than oak, maple or cherry making it easier for precision woodworking but carries the strength & density of hardwood that is lacking in the softer woods (such as pine, cedar or fir).
  • Alder is a flexible wood and easy to bend which makes it more durable.
  • Alder is stable and will hold its shape.
  • Alder is not very susceptible to cracking
  • Alder is not very susceptible to shrinkage and remains stable after drying.
  • Alder wood exhibits a straight grain and fine texture known for ease in staining.
  • Alder possess the ability to mimic the appearance of other hardwoods, based on the color of the stain applied.
  • Surface finishing is unproblematic; in particular it is easy to stain and is often used as an alternative to expensive high-grade woods.
  • Alder machines well and leaves a clean sharp edge and finishes to a smooth surface. When treated (or painted) the wood will not rot when used exclusively for outdoors

Alder has a great reputation in the ship building industry of our ancestors and was often used for Masts, spars and hull planking. Alder has also been used in decking and other outdoor applications.

Through prolonged weathering without treatment some surface roughness may develop but over time the natural weather process will stabilize. Some small cracks or fissures may appear but these are only on the surface and in no way affect the structural integrity or strength of the wood.

Please note: Alder outdoor products should never be left unfinished as the sealant preserves the wood against termites and fungus which can be a problem in some southern climates. This is the reason why we treat our Alder Cape Cod chair with the best finish possible. Every product we make we take the time to make sure it is made with the best possible materials for that specific product.

We welcome your questions and feedback as you input has a direct result on future products.


Super Garden Furniture/MDK is proud to be an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) board member as well as SCS (Scientific certification Systems of California) certified: FSC-SECR-0036. When you buy products from us you know you are helping our planet by supporting responsible renewable forestry industries.

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