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Alnus glutinosa

Alder

Garden

Wishlist

  • Alnus glutinosa | Copyright Greenplantswap 2018
  • Alnus glutinosa | Copyright Greenplantswap 2018

Features

  • Blooms & FruitsApril & October
  • Height10m to 20m
  • Spread8m to 15m
  • Growth HabitBroad conical
  • Flower ColourYellow, brown
  • Leaf ColourDark green

Description

Alnus glutinosa (Alder). The Black Alder or Common Alder will grow slowly but can eventually reach a height of up to 60ft.

The flowers are yellowish-brown and are borne in catkins in late winter or early spring; they are followed by small cone-shaped fruits.

The foliage provides interesting seasonal change; the young leaves will appear yellow in spring, then turn light green in the summer and then turn a darker shade of green. The leaves are oval, about 10cm long and toothed.

The twigs have a spotted, light brown bark which is redder towards the new growth and the buds are sticky to the touch.

Characteristics

Perennial, Deciduous, Fragrant

Origin

Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America

Interest and use

Ornamental, aquatic, boggy and poor soils, shade, screening, sandy areas; a pioneer tree. Planted for land reclamation because of its ability to fix nitrogen and grow in areas prone to flooding.

Used historically for boat-building, sluice-gates and water-pipes, due to its tolerance for wet conditions. Mainly used now for plywood, pulp and veneers.

The green dye from the flowers was said to be used to create camouflaged clothes for outlaws including Robin Hood.

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  • Alnus glutinosa | Copyright Greenplantswap 2018
  • Alnus glutinosa | Copyright Greenplantswap 2018

Needs

  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilClay, Heavy, Medium, Poor quality
  • Soil pH5.0 to 7.0
  • WaterMoist

Cultivation

Can grow in semi-waterlogged soils.

Propagation

By seed or by hardwood cutting.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Root rot.

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