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Putting the Alder in Alderbrook!

I couldn’t help but smile when I overheard a little girl say “I feel like I’m in the Jungle Book” as she and her family headed off into the woods at Alderbrook Resort and Spa. It’s probably the huge western red cedars, douglas firs, and western hemlocks that make her feel that way. But we cannot forget about the red alders, especially here at Alderbrook!

Sure, alders might be referred to as a “weed” or “firewood” more often than their latin name of Alnus rubra, but these trees play a very important role in the building of our magnificent Pacific Northwest forests. They are pioneer species that have a symbiotic relationship with the nitrogen fixing Frankia bacteria, which means they are preparing the soil for the next generation of trees to move in.

Red alders also play an important role in our culture. The oily wood is the first choice for smoking salmon. The inner bark was used to dye fishnets red, hence the name, so that fish could not see the net. Since it is the most abundant hardwood in the PNW, the tree has commonly been used by Native Americans for a variety of woodworking and medicinal purposes.

There’s no better place to experience the red alder than at Alderbrook Resort and Spa. Come join me on the trails so you too can feel like you’re in the “Jungle Book.”

Good journeys!

-MS

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