Common Alder Tree Gift

£22.99 inc. VAT

Our Common Alder tree gift is the perfect present for celebrating a new birth or a wedding and it’s also a great gift for a 5th (wood) wedding anniversary.

Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a fast growing, medium sized, deciduous tree. It’s the only native, broadleaved tree that bears cones and Common Alder are often found growing along the edges of streams and lakes or in damp areas.

It can reach a height of 30 metres (100 feet).  Read more …

What’s in the box?

  • A tree (approx. 25 – 75cm tall) packaged in a jute drawstring bag
  • A gift card with your personal message
  • A tree label with the tree species info
  • A tree planting guide to show you how to give your tree a healthy start to its life.
Add the recipient and your gift options below …

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Our Common Alder tree gift is the perfect present for celebrating a new birth, a birthday, a new home or a wedding. It’s also a great gift for a 5th (wood) wedding anniversary.

Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a fast growing, medium sized tree.

It is the only broadleaved tree that bears cones and they are often found growing along the edges of streams and lakes or in damp areas.


Useful info about Common Alder trees

Latin NameAlnus glutinosa
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 25 metres (80 feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 5 - 10 metres (18 - 35 feet)
Soil Types PreferredChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableFarmland, Gardens, Parks
FlowersMarch / April
FruitCatkins / cones from Spring
Celtic Tree MonthMarch 18 - April 14

Similar Species



Common Alder normally reach heights of up to 30 metres tall and the branches spread out as much as 10 metres.

Short-stalked dark green round leaves with flat tops and toothed edges, the leaves turn black in late autumn. The bark is greyish-brown and cracked.

The common alder has strongly scented creamy white flowers, in flat clusters. These develop into green berries know as “haws”, that ripen to red by the autumn. Each “haw” bears a single seed.

Common Alder is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions except for very dry spots. It can withstand being periodically waterlogged and dried out. It is a useful plant to prevent soil erosion along rivers.

The alder can be used for hedging, coppicing and as a specimen tree. The catkins provide pollen for insects in early summer, and the haws are a good food source for birds.

Common Alder is a classic “pioneer” tree that is often used in reclaiming sites with especially poor soils, due to the bacteria living in nodules in its roots. These bacteria fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, improving it for other plants.

Note: Alder has invasive roots that can break old water pipes and damage the foundations of old buildings or walls. 15 metres away from vulnerable structures is a safe distance to plant Alder. New build, concrete foundations are not at risk.


Further Information

It is characterised by its 5–10 cm short-stalked rounded leaves 6–12 cm long, becoming wedge-shaped at the base and with a slightly toothed margin.

When young they are somewhat glutinous, hence the specific name, becoming later a glossy dark green.

As with some other plants growing near water it keeps its leaves longer than do trees in drier situations, the glossy green foliage lasting after other trees have put on the red or brown of autumn, which renders it valuable for landscape effect.

As the Latin name glutinosa implies, the buds and young leaves are slightly sticky with a resinous gum.

It is in leaf from March to November, in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen from September to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. The alder is readily propagated by seeds, but throws up root suckers abundantly.

Alder trees also have a heavy leaf canopy and when the leaves fall in the autumn they help to build up the humus content of the soil. Alder seedlings do not compete well in shady woodland conditions and so this species gradually dies out as the other trees become established.

Common Alder prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. It prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist or wet soil and can survive on the coast where it would be exposed to salty winds.

A robust species, the alder can be grown in a windbreak or a hedge and, because the trees will grow at a rate of 1 metre or more per year when young, they are very quick to establish.

This makes them an excellent pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands on disused farmland, difficult sites etc.

Its fast growth rate means that it can quickly provide sheltered conditions in which more permanent woodland trees can establish themselves. In addition, bacteria on the roots fix atmospheric nitrogen - whilst this enables the tree to grow well in quite poor soils it also makes some of this nitrogen available to other plants growing nearby.

Because they tolerate very poor soils and also produce nitrogen nodules on their roots, alders are suitable for use in land reclamation schemes.



The powdered bark has been used as an ingredient of toothpastes. Sticks of the bark have been chewed as tooth cleaners.

An ink and a various coloured dyes can obtained from the bark, catkins and young shoots
The leaves and bark are a good source of tannin.

The leaves are clammy and, if spread in a room, are said to catch fleas and flies on their glutinous surface.

Common Alder wood is very durable in water, elastic, soft, fairly light, easily worked, easily split. It is often used for situations where it has to remain underwater and is also used for furniture, pencils, bowls, woodcuts, clogs etc. It is much valued by cabinet makers. The wood also makes a good charcoal.

The wood is soft, white when first cut and turning to pale red; the knots are beautifully mottled. Under water the wood is very durable, and it is therefore used for piles. The supports of the Rialto at Venice, and many buildings at Amsterdam, are of Alder wood. It is also the traditional wood burnt to produce smoked fish and other smoked foods, though in some areas other woods are more often used now.

DISCLAMER : Any uses for trees or tree extracts. whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.CO.UK so please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.


Culture and Symbolism

The Alder tree is believed to represent strength, protection, determination.

Frequently, such as in Brythonic and Norse mythology, the Alder is a symbol of resurrection, possibly because the wood turns from white to reddish-purple when cut, similar to human blood. The first humans in Norse mythology were made from Ash and Alder trees.

In Ireland, reverence for the Alder tree was so great that cutting one down was a criminal offence. In other places, such as Newfoundland, the Alder's medicinal effects were prized; it has been used to treat burns, rheumatism and itching.

Want to dedicate a tree instead, and have it planted in a woodland in England, Scotland or Wales?



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