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Alder Trees | Alnus Trees

Alder, or Alnus to use its Latin name, is a small genus of about 30 species of monoecious trees and shrubs. Most are deciduous with simple serrated leaves and catkins. Both the male and female catkins are found on each tree. Although Alder plants are mainly wind pollinated, they are occasionally visited by bees.

 

Nitrogen fixing properties of Alder trees

Alder trees are commonly planted for their nitrogen fixing properties. The root nodules of Alnus plants contain a nitrogen fixing bacterium which absorbs nitrogen from the air and makes it available to the plant. The alder plant then provides the bacterium with sugars which it produces through photosynthesis. This mutually beneficial relationship allows alder trees and shrubs to improve the quality of the surrounding soil. When used as a pioneer species (hardy plants used to colonise previously damaged areas) Alder provides additional nitrogen to the successional plants that follow.

 

Cultural Uses of Alder trees

The wood of Alder trees has been used for many years in different cultures:

  • An Alder tree features in the coat of arms for the Austrian town of Grossari
  • Alder wood is commonly used for making furniture including cabinets
  • Since the 1950s it has been used to make electric guitars as the wood is said to give an even, balanced tone
  • Although the catkins are edible they are not particularly enjoyable but can come in handy for survival purposes!
  • Alder wood is used for smoking food, especially seafood e.g. salmon

 

If you're looking for a tree that is well suited to damp or wet sites, Alder is the tree for you! It's great for difficult planting sites and will provide you with an attractive tree, popular with wildlife. For more ornamental trees suited to damp sites, click here.

 

Alder Trees | Alnus Trees
£49.99 (ex. VAT)

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£49.99 (ex. VAT)

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From £49.99 (ex. VAT)

Buy | View ›