At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Betulaceae
Latin Name: Alnus glutinosa
Foliage: Glossy dark green
Fall Foliage: Dull Brown
Bloom: Reddish-brown and purple
Bloom Time: March
Shape: Pyramidal
Bark: Dark brown with warty striping
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 3 to Zone 7
Size: 40 to 60 feet
Spread: 20 to 40 feet
Care: Medium to wet, well drained soil

Scientifically classified as Alnus Glutinosa, the Black Alder is also known as “Common Alder” and “European Alder”. Belonging to the family Betulaceae, this deciduous tree is native to Europe, Southwest Asia, and Africa, and was introduced throughout Northern America. Widespread yet short-lived, the wind-pollinated Black Alder thrives in low-lying riparian regions and favors medium to wet, well-drained soils; it has a 3-7 hardiness zone rating. Due to this native habitat and the species’ ability to grow even in poor quality soils, the Black Alder contributes to the stabilization of riverbanks and helps prevent flooding. As a “pioneer” species, the Black Alder can easily intersperse with other plant species and even colonize vacant land. This species typically fades from woodlands once it is crowded out by other trees, since its seedlings need more sunlight and moisture than that found beneath a forest canopy. The grown Black Alder grows best given a spectrum of full sun to partial shade.

Pyramidal in shape, these trees grow to reach 40-60 ft. with a 20-40 ft. spread. The Black Alder’s catkins, which typically bloom in March, are reddish-brown if male and purple if female. In autumn, its foliage remains green longer than most other trees, transitioning then into a dull brown. The Black Alder’s rounded leaves are a sleek dark green; its trunk is glossy, slightly sticky, and usually dark brown with resinous warty striping. The stickiness of the trunk and galls on its leaves reveals the tree’s symbiotic relationship with bacterium: a double-edged sword type of situation that enables soil fertility and ecological succession while also making the tree more susceptible to bacterial diseases.

Reputed to be less than 1% of forest cover in the majority of countries, the Black Alder is prized for its timber, known to be soft and flexible yet durable, and is used in underwater foundations, paper manufacturing, joinery, carving, and turnery. The tree’s seeds and sap are also prized as components of ethnobotany in many cultures, contributing to folk remedies. The entire tree itself contributes greatly as a wildlife habitat and a food source; it has been associated with over 140 species of insects and over 47 species of fungi.

Mature Tree Photos: