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Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants (Alnus) belonging to the birch family (Family Betulaceae). The genus comprises about 30 species of trees and shrubs distributed throughout the North Temperate zone. The largest species is Red Alder (A. rubra), reaching 35 meters tall (about 100 feet) on the West Coast of North America. Alder wood was traditionally used for smoking fish and meat, though this usage has often been replaced by other woods such as oak and hickory. Today it is most popular as a material for electric guitar bodies. Alder is used by several guitar makers, most notably Fender, which uses it on top-quality instruments such as the Stratocaster and Jaguar. Alder provides a brighter tone than other hardwoods (such as mahogany), and as alder is not a particularly dense wood, it provides a resonant, well-rounded tone with excellent sustain.

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