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Alnus rubra

Red alder

Garden

Wishlist

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Features

  • Blooms & FruitsMarch & June
  • Height11m to 26m
  • Spread7m to 11m
  • Growth HabitBroad conical
  • Flower ColourYellow
  • Leaf ColourDark green

Description

Alnus rubra (Red alder). A fast-growing deciduous tree with smooth, grey mottled bark, which can reach up to 30m in height. The male catkins are crimson red and the female catkins are very small and green and turn into dark brown, cone-like fruit.

Characteristics

Woody perennial, Deciduous, Tree

Other common names

Oregon alder

Origin

North West America.

The name 'rubra' probably refers to the colour of the bark when it is scraped or bruised, turning it orange-red.

Interest and use

Hedging, banks, firewood, nitrogen fixing.

Indigenous Americans used the bark to camouflage their fishing nets.

In traditional medicine, the bark has been used to treat skin complaints, lymphatic disorders and TB. In modern medicine, the plant has been shown to contain chemical compounds effective in the reduction of tumours.

The wood is a traditional choice for smoking salmon because of its high oil content.

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Needs

  • LightFull sun
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -23°C)
  • SoilClay, Heavy, Well drained, Fertile, Medium, Low salinity
  • Soil pH5.5 to 7.0
  • WaterMoist

Cultivation

They grow well in soil that is permanently moist. This crop has an minimum optimum growing temperature of 17C and a maximum optimum growing temperature of 32C.

Propagation

Seed or hardwood cuttings.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Root rot.

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