March 26, 1806, along the Cowlitz River, Washington.
Graceful tree with straight trunk, pointed or rounded crown, and mottled, light gray to whitish, smooth bark. Height: 40-100 ft (12-30 m). Diameter: 2.5 ft (0.8 m), sometimes larger. Leaves 3-5 in (7.5-13 cm) long, 1.8-3 in (4.5-7.5 cm) wide; ovate to elliptical.
Moist soils including loam, gravel, sand, and clay, along streams and lower slopes; often in nearly pure stands.
Southeastern Alaska southeast to central California; also local in northern Idaho; to 2,500 ft (762 m).
The leading hardwood in the Pacific Northwest, red alder is used for pulpwood, furniture, cabinetwork, and tool handles. The common name describes the reddish-brown inner bark and heartwood.