Washington State University

Extension Forestry

Managing Red Alder

A two-day workshop for property owners

October 6-7, 2017 – Arlington, WA


Do you have alder on your property?

Red alder (Alnus rubra) is one of the most common native hardwood trees in western Washington. This moisture-loving tree is most common in riparian areas near streams and wetlands, where it contributes to high-quality habitat and clean water. Alder is short-lived, though, and older stands can quickly lose their value and stability, often degenerating into brush patches dominated by invasive species.

For larger properties, harvesting alder for timber production may be a viable option. Historically considered a weed tree, red alder is now a commercially-valuable tree with recent log prices as high as $875/Mbf for high-quality logs.

This two-day workshop (which includes a field trip) will take a comprehensive look at both the challenges and opportunities that red alder presents to landowners. We will discuss management options for different property sizes and different property uses (e.g. small-scale timber production vs. backyard forests and natural areas) and how to provide for long-term health, habitat, and water quality in the process.

Session topics include:

  • Red alder ecology – growth traits, suitable sites, life history, and ecological role.
  • Management options for over-mature/dying stands, including both harvest and non-harvest options for different property types, and managing understory vegetation that is typically associated with riparian alder sites.
  • Wildlife in riparian hardwood stands
  • Critical area regulations that apply to all properties in unincorporated Snohomish County, and how those regulations apply to caring for alder in county-designated sensitive areas.
  • State Riparian Management Zone (RMZ) regulations for larger properties considering harvesting alder near streams.
  • Hardwood conversion alternate plans for converting streamside alder into a healthy conifer stand that provides for longer-term habitat and water quality.
  • Red alder silviculture – Improving existing stands, managing natural regeneration, and growing new alder plantations (this will cover seedling sources, site preparation, planting, spacing, and growing conditions for bottomland and upland sites).
  • Markets for red alder

The Saturday afternoon field trip will comprise tours of young and older red alder stands and a completed streamside hardwood conversion (alder to conifer) project.

Speakers will include:

State, local, university, and industry experts in hardwood silviculture, streamside ecology and management, wildlife, regulations, and local hardwood markets.


  • 5:00 – 8:30 PM Friday October 6, 2017 (first half) and
  • 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Saturday October 7, 2017 (second half, including field trip)



Weston High School, 4407 172nd St NE, Arlington, WA 98223.


Pre-Registration is Required
Early registration deadline extended through 9/28!

Full workshop

Individual Registration

  • $60/person before September 29th Save $20!
  • $80/person September 29th through 5:00 PM October 4th

Couple Registration (same household or ownership)

  • $100/couple before September 29th Save $20!
  • $120/couple September 29th through 5:00 PM October 4th

Friday Only Option

This option is for folks for whom timber harvest/silvicultural activities is not applicable.
Friday Only Individual Registration

  • $30/person before September 29th Save $20!
  • $50/person September 29th through 5:00 PM October 4th

Friday Only Couple Registration (same household or ownership)

  • $50/couple before September 29th Save $20!
  • $70/couple September 29th through 5:00 PM October 4th

Student and Master Gardener discounts available

Call 206-263-1128 for more information.
To be eligible for a refund, cancellations must be received by 5:00 PM September 29th, and refunds may be subject to a $5 administrative fee.

What’s Included:

  • Friday evening and Saturday morning classroom sessions
  • Saturday afternoon field trip
  • Dinner on Friday
  • Lunch on Saturday


Pre-Registration is Required

Space is limited and is first come, first served.
Registration must be received no later than 5 p.m. Wed. October 4th.

Register by mail

Send in the Registration Form with a check (made out to WSU Extension).

Register online

Register online with a credit card via Brown Paper Tickets (subject to credit card processing fee).

With Thanks to our Partners

This Program is made possible in part by funding from Snohomish County Surface Water Management. In-kind support provided by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

All Are Welcome

Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Kelsey Ketcheson at 206-263-1128 or at least two weeks prior to the event.

Extension Forestry, 600 128th St SE Everett WA 98208, 425-357-6017, Contact Us
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