Black alder

Alnus glutinosa | Also known as: European alder, Common alder, Aller | Rating: 2 votes | Print / Pdf

This tree's used to make pencils, cabinets, and even smoke fish - alternatively you could just use it as a tree

Alnus glutinosa, black alder or common alder will grow up to 30m in height and grows best in moist soil. It has slightly triangular rounded leaves with a shallow toothed edge that grow on short stems that are glossy and a dark green colour. It keeps its green colouring longer than most other trees that change colour in the autumn. It has red catkins that grow up to about 10cm in length. As it grows in moist conditions, the wood from this tree is very durable under water and so it's often used for building foundations. It's a flexible and light wood so it's used a lot for everything from the manufacture of pencils to cabinet making. It's also commonly used for smoking fish.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 25
Spread [m]
  • 10
Dominant flower colour
  • Yellow
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Late winter
  • Early spring
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • budding
  • Hardwood cuttings
Growth habit
  • Broadly conical
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z3-7
Heat zone
  • H7-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -40 - -12
Heat days
  • 0 - 90
  • well-drained
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Wild flowers
Grown for
  • Ornamental Foliage
Creative category
  • For Beginners
  • Bonsai
  • Pond plants
  • Neighbour repellant
Garden type
  • Park
  • Coastal
  • Pond
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Meadows
Garden spaces
  • Hedges and screens
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • 30 years or longer
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