One of Ireland's most widely distributed trees, often found in damp boggy areas and along river banks. Like most broad-leaved trees, Alnus glutinosa flowers before the leaves are out with attractive long reddish catkins appearing as early as January. The female flowers produce small cones, and these can stay on the tree all winter.
The common alder provides food and shelter to wildlife, with a number of insects, lichens and fungi being completely dependent on the tree. It is very good soil-enhancing tree due to its nitrogen-fixing capabilities. Alnus glutinosa is fast growing, tolerant of very wet and very poor soils and very good in windy aspects - one of our best native trees.
Site: Tolerates most coastal sites Soil: Prefers well-drained, tolerates very wet soils Position: Full sun, part shade Flowers: Spring catkins Hardiness: Fully hardy Height: 50+ft (16+m) Spread: 30ft (10m)