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Native Americans regarded alder with reverence and respect. They used alder to make dishes, spoons, masks and platters for serving and cooking. It is considered by some as the best wood for smoking salmon. Alder is appreciated for its claimed tight and even balanced tone and is widely used by electric guitar manufacturers.
Because Alder is not prone to splitting, is extremely water resistant and is light in the hand it is a popular wood for stickmaking.
However, the bark is dull and featureless so I often remove it and expose the heartwood which has a warmish pale yellow hue. Occasionally, there are speckled marks which add to the charm of the stick.
In instances where the underbark is retained, the shank has a deep dark antique look.