Alder is found all over the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a pioneer species that because of its symbiotic relationship with a nitrogen fixing bacteria it leaves behind nitrogen in the soil for surrounding plants and improves soil productivity. It provides between 120 to 290 pounds of nitrogen per acre. The catkins of some species of alder are ostensibly edible. The bark contains anti inflammatory properties, and some Native American cultures used Red Alder bark to treat poison oak and other skin irritants. The Blackfoot have traditionally use concoctions that included Alder bark to treat lymphatic disorders and even tuberculosis, it even has the power to fight various tumors!
Alder has various uses, including cabinetry, furniture, and most famously; Fender Made bodies using Alder in the 50’s.