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Alnus incana

grey alder

A. incana is a conical tree, to 20m, with dark-green leaves to 10cm long, grey-white and hairy beneath. Yellow-brown male catkins in pendent clusters of 3 or 4 are produced in late winter or early spring, before the leaves. Ovoid fruit is produced in summer

Other common names
American black alder
common black alder
see moregray alder
hoary-leaved alder
speckled alder

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Brown Yellow Green
Summer Green Brown
Autumn Green
Winter Brown Yellow
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Betulaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Alnus are vigorous deciduous trees and large shrubs with rounded leaves and often conspicuous catkins in winter

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, Caucasus

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Noted for its ability to thrive in poor, wet conditions but is also tolerant of dry soils

Propagation

Propagate by seed or hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Pruning group 1 between leaf fall and midwinter

Pests

May be affected by alder sucker, alder leaf beetle and leaf-mining sawflies

Diseases

Susceptible to Phytophthora

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