Alder: Description Of The Tree, Where It Grows, Species, Planting And Care, Propagation

Alder (Alnus) is part of the Birch family, with trees. Most species of alder grow in the Northern Hemisphere in temperate climates. This tree can be easily confused with the birch, as its branches are decorated with earrings in the springtime. Alder is widespread and popular in culture, this is due to the medicinal properties of its leaves and bark as well as the special qualities of its wood.

Special features of alder

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

Alder has a slender trunk, but sometimes it is also curved.

Its surface is covered by a smooth grey bark. Under natural conditions, the plant can grow to a height of over 20 meters. Flowering is observed at the beginning of the spring period. At this time on its branches appear fluffy earrings, which contain pollen. It is pollinated by the wind and the resulting buds form small cones with hard scales, which fully mature in the autumn.

After maturation, the cones open and the wind picks up the seeds and carries them away from the mother tree. Once the seed is in the moist ground, it quickly germinates. As a result, impenetrable thickets of alder are formed on the banks of lakes, rivers or marshes.

Only when flowering is over, the first leaf laminae of the alder tree appear. The oval or rounded leaves with serrated edges remain unchanged until late autumn.

When the first frosts come, it remains green. Leaf laminae are rich in nitrogen and also saturate the soil with this element.

The tree has a superficial system of roots. And the main root is buried in the ground only 20 centimeters, where it spreads out. This arrangement of the root system accelerates the saturation of the soil with nitrogen.

The fact is that the root nodules contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria that release nitrogen. Since the roots can quickly braid the upper layers of soil, alder is often planted on the steep banks of rivers and other bodies of water to strengthen them. However, since the root system is placed superficially, a large tree can be overwhelmed by a powerful gust of wind.

The appearance of an alder depends on where it grows and can be very different. Different species may differ from each other in the shape of the leaves, earrings or crown, as well as the color of the bark.

That's why such a tree has so many varieties and species.

Alder is the holy tree of health

Alder species with photos

There are about forty species of alder found in the wild.

Solid alder (Alnus firma)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

The species is represented by trees or shrubs that reach a height of about 300 cm. Its resilient branches may be painted a brownish-gray or brown-yellow hue. The ear buds reach 50-70 mm in length.

The cones are 20 mm long. In nature, this species is found in Japan.

Alnus cremastogyne (Alnus cremastogyne)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

This tall tree reaches about 40 meters in height. The annual's shoots are deep brown, and there is pubescence on the surface. The foliage shape is elliptical, with a taper at the top.

The front surface of the plates is dark green, while the underside is light. The plant is native to western China. It is also found in England, and the species was introduced there in 1907.

Green alder (Alnus viridis)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

The species is represented by shrubs and trees. They reach a maximum height of about 20 meters.

Under natural conditions, the plant is found in Western Europe and in the Carpathians. It prefers sandy loam soils and forms impenetrable thickets, which are called alder groves. This species is distinguished from the others by its winter-hardiness.

Alder (Alnus sibirica)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

This small tree or shrub may be found in Korea, China and Transbaikalia, growing together with conifers. The rounded leaflets have a dark greenish front side and a grayish back side.

This species is practically not used in culture.

Heart-shaped alder (Alnus cordata)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

This tree is highly ornamental. Its ovoid glossy leaf plates look very striking. They are colored in a dark green shade, with a heart-shaped base and a taper on the top. The edges of the leaves are finely serrated.

In nature, the plant can be found in southern Italy.

Kola alder (Alnus kolaensis)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

This stunted tree reaches a maximum height of 8 meters. Its knotty branches are curved. This species bears an outward resemblance to the grey alder. In these species, old branches are covered with glossy pale yellow bark.

There is pubescence on the surface of the red leaf petioles. The upper part of the elliptical-oval leaf plates is blunt, with serrated edges on the sides. In the wild, this species occurs on lake and river shores on the Kola Peninsula.

Black alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

This species is very common, occurring in the Caucasus, the European part of Russia and in Western Siberia. It can also be found in Asia Minor and Western Europe.

Its foliage is dark green. There is a sticky patina on the surface of the leaves, buds and young shoots. This species is of high value to the timber industry. Its soft wood can be processed and dyed very easily. It is resistant to water.

Cones and leaves have medicinal properties and are widely used in medicine. The bark is used to make paint, which is used to dye leather.

Alder red (Alnus rubra)

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

The species is noted for its decorative qualities. Its young buds and shoots have a rich red color. The foliage is green-gray glossy, while its petioles and veins are red.

In the wild, the species is found in North America. It prefers moist soil with good drainage. Often this species begins to grow in parched areas, while helping to enrich and renew the soil.

Where the alder tree grows

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

The alder tree is most common in nature in the temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. In addition, it is often found in South America and Asia.

Spreading to other continents, the alder tree owes its practical, healing and ornamental properties. However, no matter where the tree grows, it still prefers damp ground. If alder grows on the site, you can be sure that there is a water body or groundwater close to the soil surface. Alnus is Latin for "water-loving, coastal".

Planning and care

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

Alder is often planted on the banks of various water bodies as well as in the lowlands of rivers.

For the tree to grow healthily and fully develop, it needs a nutritious soil and moderate humidity. If you plant alder in a dry area in an area where groundwater is very deep, then the plant can die.

Before planting a young tree in the open ground in a planting pit made slaked lime. When the seedling passes 1 year after planting, it should be root-fed with a mineral complex. In subsequent years, the tree does not need to be nourished, because it itself contributes to the saturation of the soil with nitrogen.

However, it is very important to loosen the soil surface in the root zone in a timely manner, as well as do not forget to water the plant in a timely manner. You should also not forget to cut the undergrowth otherwise the site may quickly become an impassable forest.

Spreading methods

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

Alder is propagated by cuttings as well as by the generative (seed) method. Under conditions of increased moisture, shoots emerge from seeds in a relatively short time, and the cuttings develop roots and begin to grow. In 1 year of growth, the young shoots may be about 200 cm tall.

In wild conditions, mature seed material ends up in the ground in the last days of November or in early March. Under natural conditions, the seeds undergo stratification by low temperatures. And once they are soaked by melt water in the spring, sprouts emerge very quickly.

Sprouting

In order to obtain a new plant from a cuttings, it must first be cut from the parent tree. After that, it is planted directly into the open ground.

This procedure is carried out at the beginning of the spring period.

Cut the root scion carefully from the parent tree together with part of the root, taking it with a root ball. In this way, it will recover from the transplant more quickly and begin to grow. For the scion to better take root, treat it with a growth-promoting agent, as well as provide systematic watering. By the beginning of autumn, the rooting of the cuttings is complete and they will be able to overwinter in the open ground without additional shelter.

Growing from seed

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

After the cones are fully mature, the seeds should be collected. They are sown in a previously prepared soil mixture. Spread the seed on the surface of the soil and press it slightly into the ground. However, it is not necessary to cover it from above. To make the seedlings appear, you should systematically moisten the surface of the soil with a sprayer.

Once the seedlings have reached a height of about 50 mm, transplant them into the open soil, making sure to keep a distance of at least 300 cm between the plants. In their second year of growth the young plants will grow into a dense bush or small young trees.

How to grow alder. Planting seeds. Part 4.

Diseases and Pests

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

Diseases

Alder is a moisture loving plant. This is why alder plantings have high humidity, which leads to the development of a variety of pathogenic fungi, the reproduction of which is actively observed on the surface of the leaves and bark. They cause the development of a variety of diseases, such as: deformed earrings and leaf plates, rotting trunks.

The most common parasitic fungus is the bristlecone fungus. If you see it on the surface of the plant, cut it off and burn it as quickly as possible.

This will help prevent the spores from spreading. Next, treat the cut area with a three percent solution of copper sulfate, and then it is covered with garden varnish. For preventive purposes, at the beginning of the spring period, alder is treated with an iron sulfate solution, and in summer it is sprayed with a bordeaux mixture.

Pests

The most common pests of this tree are ringed moths, blue alderworts, alder dicerca and wood pesters. Such pests settle under the tree bark, which leads to its gradual damage and death.

After pests are found on alder, it should be sprayed with an insecticide solution. If it is a fungal disease, then a fungicide treatment will be needed. To keep the alder healthy, regular inspections as well as preventive treatments are necessary.

Alder use and importance

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

Alder is quite widely used in medicine and construction. In industry, black alder is most valued because it is the most widely used in comparison to other species.

The wood is distinguished by its lightness and softness. That is why it is widely used in carpentry, furniture industry, and it is also used for making various small crafts and turnings. This wood is also suitable for making veneers, plywood and pallet boxes. It is also used to build houses and bridges because of its resistance to moisture and high density.

Alder furniture is stained to improve its decorative qualities and to imitate more precious woods such as mahogany, cherry and ebony.

Thanks to this property, alder wood is highly valued in restoration work. Alder wood is also used for charcoal for painting.

Alder wood is also used for making musical instruments and replaces the resonant spruce wood. The reason is that the timber of these types of wood is similar in its qualities. However, more and more musical instruments are being made from alder.

This highly decorative tree is used for landscaping parks. Alder trees improve the structure of the ground and oxygenate it. Alder woodlands are also being created more and more often, with the trees later used in the timber industry.

A variety of mixtures and medicines are made from the various parts of this tree. It is distinguished by its wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and hemostatic effects.

The bark is used to make a product that is used for tanning leather and dyeing it. It is also used for making red, black and yellow paint.

Application in landscaping

Alder: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care, propagation

Alder's crown is highly decorative. This unpretentious crop is very popular in landscape design. It is best suited for planting on the banks of a variety of artificial water bodies, and it also co-exists well with other forest tree species.

Alder trees are used for hedges and solitary planting.

Flowers appear much earlier on alder branches than on other trees. In early spring the branches bear spectacular earrings and in summer small pale green cones. If the alder is planted in an open area, it will begin to bear fruit much earlier than a specimen growing in a shaded place.

The herbalist.

Alder. Narrated by Sailor Sergei Viktorovich

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *