Alnus incanca, also known as the Grey Alder, is a tough member of the Alder family that was introduced from Europe in the 1780’s. The Grey Alder is of broadly pyramidal form at maturity, with fairly small oval leaves that are pointed, which readily distinguishes Alnus incana from that of glutinosa.
Catkins are produced at the end of winter, just before the spring kicks into life; they are profuse and pink/yellow in colour. The bark is smooth and grey. Alnus in general is a very tough Genus of tree and the Grey Alder is no exception to this, a tough contender which is capable of tolerating and thriving in cold, wet soils and extremely exposed situations.
It is a stalwart and reliable tree which will thrive on all soils and does especially well on calcareous sites. Interestingly, like other Alder, Alnus incana are actually capable of fixing nitrogen in the soil, which improves the nutrient content for the future.
With this in mind, this tree is the perfect choice for challenging sites where conditions are less than favourable, yet trees are still on the agenda.
Mature height: 12-17m