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Alnus glutinosa (Common alder)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
25m
Max height
10m
Max spread
20-50 Years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Alnus glutinosa

Other names

Black alder, European alder, Common alder, Aller, Aar, Alnus vulgaris, Betula alnus var. glutinosa, Betula glutinosa, Aune glutineux

Genus

Alnus Alnus

Species

A. glutinosa - A. glutinosa is a broadly conical, deciduous tree with ovate, dark green leaves, sticky when young. Pendent, yellow-brown catkins in late winter or early spring are followed by ovoid, cone-like, green fruit ripening dark brown.


Alnus glutinosa is: Deciduous

Habit

Broadly conical

Flower

Yellow-brown in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Alder sucker , Leaf-mining sawflies Alder sucker , Leaf-mining sawflies

Bark canker Bark canker

General care

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Seed


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Where to grow

Alnus glutinosa (Common alder) will reach a height of 25m and a spread of 10m after 20-50 Years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Foliage only, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife, Wind-breaker

Cultivation

Grow in wet to moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates poor, waterlogged conditions. Suitable for use as a windbreak or in land reclamation. Listed as a noxious weed in the Central United States.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy

Soil drainage

Boggy damp conditions, Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Other plants that tolerate difficult situations (e.g. pollution) include birch, hawthorn, elder and willow.

Botanical name

Alnus glutinosa

Other names

Black alder, European alder, Common alder, Aller, Aar, Alnus vulgaris, Betula alnus var. glutinosa, Betula glutinosa, Aune glutineux

Genus

Alnus Alnus

Species

A. glutinosa - A. glutinosa is a broadly conical, deciduous tree with ovate, dark green leaves, sticky when young. Pendent, yellow-brown catkins in late winter or early spring are followed by ovoid, cone-like, green fruit ripening dark brown.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Broadly conical


Colour

Flower

Yellow-brown in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Alder sucker , Leaf-mining sawflies

Specific diseases

Bark canker

General care

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Alnus glutinosa (Common alder) will reach a height of 25m and a spread of 10m after 20-50 Years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Foliage only, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife, Wind-breaker

Cultivation

Grow in wet to moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates poor, waterlogged conditions. Suitable for use as a windbreak or in land reclamation. Listed as a noxious weed in the Central United States.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy

Soil drainage

Boggy damp conditions, Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Alnus glutinosa (Common alder)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Melampsoridium hiratsukanum

Type

Fungus

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Pathogen of alder; established in the UK and elsewhere.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Alnus glutinosa (Common alder)

Common pest name

Alder bleeding canker; Alder Phytophthora root disease

Scientific pest name

Phytophthora alni

Type

Oomycete

Current status in UK

Present (Widespread)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Damaging pathogen of Alder; first detected in the UK in 1993; which has subsequently spread to most areas. Alders are important in the context of watercourse management. No prospect of eradication or containment but possible co-ordinated action to mitigate impacts to be considered with stakeholders.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Alnus glutinosa (Common alder)

Common pest name

Alfalfa dwarf; Anaheim disease; California vine disease; Dwarf disease of alfalfa; Dwarf disease of lucerne; Leaf scald of oleander; Leaf scald of plum; Leaf scorch; Phony disease of peach; Pierce's disease of grapevine; Variegated chlorosis of citrus

Scientific pest name

Xylella fastidiosa subsp. multiplex

Type

Bacterium

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A bacterial disease with a wide host range detected in Corsica. Although EU regulated; there remains some concern about the risk of introduction. This subspecies is known to be able to thrive in cooler climates. Should an outbreak occur; there would be a need for eradication action which would result in environmental and social impacts.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Boggy damp conditions, Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

COMPANION PLANTS

Other plants that tolerate difficult situations (e.g. pollution) include birch, hawthorn, elder and willow.

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Alnus

Have two Alders grown from seed - I want to plant a native hedge this autumn - could these be incorporated into the hedge? They are about 3ft high at the moment - should I cut the leader to… read more

Alnus glutinosa

In late winter or early spring, male flowers appear as catkins. These provide early nectar for bees. Small finches like siskins, redpolls and goldfinches love alder seed. read more

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