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Alder, a resilient tree well adapted to wetlands

Alder tree

The alder is a lovely tree, well-known for thriving in wet areas like riverbanks and swamps.

Key alder facts:

Name: Alnus
Family: Betulaceae
Type: tree
Height: 30 to 60 feet (10 to 18 meters)

Exposure: south, sunny
Soil: regular  –  Foliage: deciduous  –  Feature: hardy

A very easy tree to care for, alder asks for little attention once settled in.

Planting alder

Planting alderPlanting an alder is best done in fall, as this promotes rooting before winter. You’ll see that it helps the tree have a smoother, healthier take-off in spring. But if you’ve bought your sapling in containers, you have a bit more flexibility: you can plant in spring or summer, as long as you avoid heatwaves.

  • Water consistently during the first year after planting.
  • Check out our planting advice.

Planting alder is a smart choice for poor soils, as it adjusts perfectly.

Common alder species

different alder speciesAlnus cordata or Corsican alder stands strong against early fall weather, usually persisting until November. Corsican alder grows faster than its peers.

Alnus glutinosa, or common alder, boasts a better hardiness and shows vibrant, fresh green colors in early spring.

White alder, or Alnus incana, adapts brilliantly to poor soils and mountainous regions due to its impressive resilience.

Learn more about alder

Landscaping uses of alderMuch like willow, alder thrives in moist lands. It helps purify soils and thus suits flooded areas exceptionally well.

Alder, soaring up to 65+ feet high (20 meters), offers red-colored wood. This wood is a favorite for pier piles thanks to its resistance to decay. Venice used it for pilings. Alder, as a live tree, also serves to strengthen riverbanks and protect them from erosion.

Smart tip about alder

If pollen is something that often makes you sneeze, watch out! Alder can be a problematic allergen for some persons.

Images: Pixabay: Alina Kuptsova, Jaqueline Henning, Annette Meyer, Torsten Willimczik
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