Grey Alder (Alnus incana)

Grey Alder (Alnus incana), or speckled alder, is a medium sized tree that reaches heights of 15 - 20 metres.

  • Grey Alder Tree  -  Alnus Incana  -  Mature Tree
  • Grey Alder Tree  -  Alnus Incana  -  Leaves
  • Grey Alder Tree  -  Alnus Incana  -  Fruit

Useful info about Grey Alder trees

Latin NameAlnus incana
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 20 metres (65 feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 4 - 8 metres (13 - 26 feet)
Soil Types PreferredChalk, Clay, Loam
Locations SuitableFarmland, Gardens, Parks
FlowersCatkins in spring
FruitSeeds in autumn
Celtic Tree MonthMarch 18 - April 14

Similar Species


Grey Alder is a light-demanding, fast-growing tree that grows well on poorer soils.

The bark of the Grey Alder tree is has smooth, grey bark.

The leaves are matte green, ovoid, 5–11 cm long and 4–8 cm wide. The flowers are catkins, appearing early in spring before the leaves emerge, the male catkins pendulous and 5–10 cm long, the female catkins 1.5 cm long and one cm broad when mature in late autumn.

The seeds are small, 1–2 mm long, and light brown with a narrow encircling wing.


Like other alders, it is able to improve soil fertility fixing nitrogen into the soil with the bacteria Actinomyces alni (Frankia alni).


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

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 Grey Alder tree is believed to represent strength, protection and determination.

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