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A picture of a Common Alder

Common Alder

Alnus glutinosa

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

6a

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

30m

Max

8m

12m

Min

4m

50 years to reach maturity

Flowering

    • spring
    • summer
    • autumn
    • winter

    This plant has no fragrance

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    A photo of Common Alder
    A photo of Common Alder
    A photo of Common Alder

    Overview

    A tough and fast growing deciduous tree, it's pendant catkins appear in late winter/early spring before it's sticky green leaves and brown woody, cone-like fruits in autumn. It is a fantastic provider of food and shelter to wildlife, with a number of insects, lichen and fungi being completely dependent on the tree. The bark and cones were once used for tanning leather and a decoction of the leaves was used in folk remedies. Timber from the tree has been used for underwater foundations and in the production of paper and fiber board.

    Common problems

    Can suffer from Psylla alni (Alder sucker), Fenusa dohrnii (Alder leaf miner)

    Harvesting

    Generally not harvested

    Propagation

    Seed

    Stratify seeds by placing them in the fridge for 4 weeks, direct sow or in pots shallowly in April.

    Cuttings

    Take hardwood cuttings in winter

    Uses

    A low maintenance tree very happy in wet soils it can be planted as part of a mixed hedge/screen or windbreak and is frequently planted in wildlife gardens or wildflower meadows on river and lake banks or other damp places. Able to grow in poor soils, assisted by symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacterium in the roots (Frankia alni) it is frequently used in land reclamation.

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