LATIN NAMEAlnus glutinosa
About the Alder
A tree with powerful folklore connections, the Common Alder was considered to be a sacred tree in ancient times and was thought to be able to grant access to the Faerie realms. In modern times, it’s a hardy species – one capable of thriving in wet conditions along riverbanks and in countries with plentiful rainfall.
Alder is a medium-sized, but fast growing tree – reaching about 20 metres at full maturity – and is quick to colonise new ground. Its flowers appear from February to March, its leaves from April and catkins from October to December.
The tree’s wood is slow to rot and it’s commonly planted in and around pine trees in an effort to neutralise the excessive amounts of nitrogen leached into the soil from the latter. The Alder’s timber is used for piles and stakes in water-logged areas and is also considered to be a good fuel. Its bark and leaves, meanwhile, contain tannin, while tea made from its bark was used to cure chills.
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