Botanical Name: Alnus glutinosa
Common Name: European Alder  
Plant photo of: Alnus glutinosa
Previous Photo     Next Photo

Water Saving Tip:

Change spray sprinklers to low-flow bubbler or drip systems. Shrubs and trees are ideal candidates for this type of irrigation because the water is applied directly to the root zones.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type



Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Dark Green


Bark Color

Brown, Green


Fruit Color

Brown, Yellow


Fruit Season



Full, Half, Shade



Medium, High, Extra in Summer


Growth Rate

Fast, Moderate


Soil Type

Clay, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Moist


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Wetlands, Woodland


Accenting Features

Multi-trunk Tree


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring


Location Uses

Background, Lawn, Park


Special Uses

Screen, Wind Break, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Normans/Jacobs/Mullany
  • Description

  • Notes

European Alder, also called Common Alder, is a tall (30 to 50 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide), rounded to oval tree with small, round, serrated leaves, long catkin-like clusters, and little nutlets that resemble very small pine cones. This tree is not suited for dry landscapes, but could be a good choice where there is a high water table, moist soils, or along a waterway.
Grows best in course to medium, nutrient rich, moist soils and sunny to lightly shaded areas. European alder can tolerate floods but not drought. It is able to survive extremely cold winters. The seeds, buds, and catkins are important winter food for various birds, including chickadees and goldfinches.