Red Alder Stand Establishment Decision Aid


  • Keith Thomas
  • Jennifer Turner



Alnus rubra (red alder), red alder plantation management, British Columbia's coastal forests


Red alder (Alnus rubra) is a common component of low-elevation Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH) biogeoclimatic zone forests in southwestern British Columbia, and is the most abundant broad-leaved species in coastal British Columbia. It can influence nutrient cycling in the forest and contribute to site nitrogen capital and long-term productivity through the process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Red alder is resistant to laminated root rot (Phellinus weirii), and its presence may reduce or ameliorate the disease?s effect on Douglas-fir. It contributes to biodiversity at both the stand and landscape levels. In addition, there are presently strong markets for red alder and it is harvested to produce lumber for remanufacturing into mouldings, furniture, and pallets, as well as chips for pulping. Red alder?s value is in its clear wood, which means management regimes that improve wood quality and shorten rotation age over natural stands will be more profitable.

This Stand Establishment Decision Aid (SEDA) is intended as a general aid for managing red alder in British Columbia?s coastal forests. A more complete discussion of red alder management can be found in Peterson et al. (1996). Additional information sources are found in the Resource and Reference list at the end of this document.