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The Alder Tree

Thursday 20th July 2017

Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

The Alder trees planted in the early stages of the park can be seen towering over the other vegetation in the shrubbery. Alder is a pioneer species, pioneer species are the first trees to grow and flourish when grassland or moorland is left unmanaged. A number of features distinguish the Alder as a pioneer species including rapid growth, lightweight seeds and the ability to grow in damp conditions however these advantages do come at a cost as Alders only live for around 150 years. They are especially distinctive over the autumn and winter months as the female catkins are woody and resemble small conifer cones.
By Tom Cowley

Fun fact; Alder is durable if kept wet, leading to its use in a marine environment, for boats, clogs and parts of Venice are still supported by alder. Historically the sap and flowers were used to produce dye, the leaves producing a green dye and the sap a blood red.

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