Alder. Kappale teoksesta: A Description And History of Vegetable Substances, used in The Arts, and in Domestic Economy. (1830)
The Library of Entertaining Knowledge.
A Description And History of Vegetable Substances, used in The Arts, and in Domestic Economy.
Timber Trees: Fruits.
Illustrated with wood engravings.
London: Charles Knight, Pall Mall East.
Longlamn, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, Paternoster-Row; Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh; Robertson & Atkinson, Glasgow; Wakeman, Dublin; Willmer, Liverpool; Baines & Co., Leeds; And G. & C. Carvill, New York.
London: Printed by William Clowes. Samford-street.
Vegetable Substances, Part I. Timber Trees. Chapter V. Birch, Alder, Maple, Lime, Horsechesnut, Poplar, Willow / Birch and Alder (Betula)
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The Alder (Alnus glutinosa) is not so handsome a tree as the birch, and the timber is not applicable to so many useful purposes. The alder is a native of almost every part of Europe. It thrives best in marshy situations, and by the margins of lakes and rivers, where it is generally a large shrub rather than a tree. As its shade rather improves than injures the grass, coppices of it afford good wintering for the out-door stock on mountain grazings.
The bark of the alder contains a good deal of tannin ; and the young shoots dye a yellow or cinnamon colour, the wood a brown, and the catkins of the flowers a green. The twigs of the alder are brittle, and so is the stem when green. In that state it is more easily worked than any other timber. When of considerable size, the timber of one of the varieties
(there are several of them) is red, and often so finely streaked, that it is called Scotch mahogany in the north, and furniture is made of it. That which is got out of the bogs, in an undecayed state, (and though it be not so durable in the air as birch, it lasts much longer in water,) has the colour, if not the consistency of ebony. Of birch or holly, which are very white, of juniper, which has a slight cinnamon tinge, and of the bog alder or the bog oak, both of which are black, the coopers in the north of Scotland form variegated cups, some of which are very handsome. In moist situations alder does very well for foundation piles; and from the ease with which it can be perforated when green, and from its not being liable to split, it is well adapted for wooden pipes.
On the banks of the Mole, in Surrey, the alder grows very luxuriantly ; and it adds great beauty to the landscape in the neighbourhood of Dorking and Esher.