ALDER, a member of the BIRCH family (Betulaceae), occurs in 3 species in BC. Of these, only the red alder (Alnus rubra) occurs as a tree. The other two, mountain alder and Sitka alder, seldom grow taller than shrubs. The red alder inhabits a narrow band along the coast and is one of the most important hardwoods. FIRST NATIONS people used it extensively for utensils and as fuel, and extracted a red dye from the inner bark. One of the first trees to reforest a burned-over or logged-over area, it...

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