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Common Alder
Black Alder
Catalogue A# 2000-071  Z29
GPS 45D 43' 48" N / 108D 37' 26" W

Alnus glutinosa

Family: Betulaceae

Origin: Europe, wester Asia, northern Africa

Common name: Black Alder

Location: Birds of Prey-along southside of pathway

Number in accession: Multiple

This 37 inch Broadleaf Deciduous Large Alder provides overall benefits of: $117 every year.

Tree or Plant Type: Tree
        Foliage: Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
        Native Locale: Non-native
        Size Range: Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Mature Height: 40-60 feet
Mature Width: 20-40 feet
        Light Exposure: Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
        Hardiness Zones: Zone 4, Zone 5 Zone 6, Zone 7
        Soil Preference: Wet soil
        Acid Soils: Tolerant
        Alkaline Soils: Tolerant
        Salt Spray: Intolerant
        Soil Salt: Intolerant
        Drought Conditions: Moderately Tolerant
        Poor Drainage: Tolerant
        Planting Considerations: Excessive sucker growth
        Ornamental Interest: Persistent fruit/seeds, Attractive bark
        Flower Color & Fragrance: Inconspicuous
        Shape or Form: Pyramidal
        Growth Rate: Fast
        Transplants Well: Yes
        Wildlife: Nesting birds, Seed-eating birds, Small mammals
More Information:
Native geographic location and habitat
Europe and central Asia
Bark color and texture 
Light to greenish gray
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Leaves oval to rounded, glossy green, with a toothed margin. Young leaves and shoots often sticky from a resin.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male flowers in dangling catkins, yellow-red, in early spring before leaves appear.  Female flowers small, pink, egg-shaped.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit are cone-like structures


European black alder has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites. Growing 40 to 60 feet tall, black alder is typically tall and narrow but sometimes pyramid-shaped. It can be identified by its large, glossy green, oval to round leaves with a toothed margin; dangling catkins in early spring; and cone-like fruits, in fall. Young leaves and shoots are often sticky from a resin. The seed are dispersed by wind and, if they fall on water, can be spread for long distances. Along stream beds and in other wet areas, it can form dense groves that displace native plants. Like members of the bean family, it can fix nitrogen from the air, allowing it to colonize very poor soils. It invades woodlands and wetlands such as forest preserves where it disrupts the forest ecosystem by preventing the growth of understory shrubs and other plants. The tree was brought from Europe to the East Coast by early colonists. 

overallbenefitsFRPE37Park or other vacan
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