Northern Ash vs Swamp Ash vs Alder Wood – What’s the difference?

Woods come in different shapes and sizes. They can have different characteristics, features, and uses. It is necessary to know their distinctions and functions to choose the one that you need.

Woods can be hardwoods or softwoods . Woods like Northern Ash, Swamp Ash, and Alder falls in the category of hardwoods. They are widely used woods that carry different purposes. So, let us discuss each one in detail to know their functions better and choose the right kind of wood.

Northern Ash vs Swamp Ash vs Alder Wood – Difference

Northern Ash Wood

Northern Ash wood is a wood that belongs to the same family as Ash. While they are a product of the same species and same tree, only the geographic differences can make them different from others of the same category.

Northern Ash is a light-colored wood with an even texture. The grain patterns are usually straight but can sometimes be moderately curly. They have a color ranging from light-brown to white hues that makes them pleasing and neat.

They are generally harder than other ash woods and have greater stiffness. Due to their stiffness, they are widely used in musical instruments such as acoustic and elastic guitars. They are also known to be shock-resistant and are used in making tools and furniture.

Northern Ash woods are heavier and extremely hard compared to others. It is also resilient and bendable that provides great workability.

Swamp Ash Wood

Swamp Ash wood is also a member of the same tree as Northern Ash wood. However, what makes Swamp Ash different is its geographical differences, as mentioned earlier. Swamp Ash is ash woods produced by ash trees that grow in wetlands or swamps areas. That adds to why they got the name Swamp Ash woods.

Swamp Ash wood is a popular ash wood used for making musical instruments. It is because they are light-colored and most importantly, lightweight woods. They are lighter than other woods and provides great workability.

They have a color ranging from beige to light brown hues, and they take stains very well due to the presence of large open pores on their surface.

However, regarding stiffness and hardness, they rank below other woods like northern ash and alder. Even in terms of stability, swamp Ash ranks lower. But their workability allows workers to make great musical instruments and light tools.

Alder Wood

Alder wood, on the other hand, is a different kind of hardwood. They are also amongst the softest hardwoods. Just like ash wood, they are grown across different regions.

They are a uniform textured wood with straight grain patterns. They have a reddish tint which makes them unique and pleasing. Just like Swamp Ash, they also take stains very well. In fact, they require lesser stains to provide a fine finish.

Alder wood is softer than ash woods and provides great workability. They are highly preferred for furniture building and indoor applications.

Regarding stability, they are very stable even when there are climate fluctuations. However, they are less dense than the ash woods. But that makes it easier to machine, cut, and turn.
In terms of prices, alder wood is slightly more expensive than ash wood.

So we see each wood has its own characteristics. Therefore, it is important to know their characteristics and functions to get the expected outcome.

Leave a Comment