Black Alder Tree Info: Tips On Planting Black Alder In The Landscape

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By Karen Boness, Owner of Wild Willow Landscape Design, ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Permaculture Designer

Black alder trees (Alnus glutinosa) are fast-growing, water-loving, highly adaptable, deciduous trees that hail from Europe. These trees have many uses in the home landscape and a number of qualities that make them highly attractive. Read on to learn more.

Black Alder Tree Info

There are many black alder facts that should be of interest to homeowners and landscapers. They grow to 50’ tall and have a pyramidal shape. They can take waterlogged soils and somewhat dry conditions. They have appealing glossy leaves. Their smooth grey bark is especially attractive in winter when it stands out against the snow.

There are many uses for black alder trees. The trees have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air and increase soil fertility through their root nodules. Alder trees are valuable in landscape restoration projects where the soil is degraded. Black alders in the landscape are terrific habitat trees. They provide food for butterflies, mice, turtles, birds and deer.

Planting Black Alder in the Landscape

So where do black alder trees grow? They grow especially well in moist soils, by waterways and in boggy woodlands in the Midwest and on the East Coast. But be careful when you put black alder in the landscape.

The trees spread readily and are considered invasive in some states. Be sure to check with your local nursery or university extension before you plant black alder in the landscape. They are so vigorous that their aggressive roots can lift sidewalks and invade sewer lines.

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