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Black Alder

Alnus glutinosa

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Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa) at North Branch Nursery

Black Alder

Black Alder

(Photo courtesy of North Branch Nursery)

Height:  50 feet

Spread:  30 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Common Alder, European Alder


A good all-round tree for general landscape use, particularly good for wet locations; many popular cultivars offer specific features above and beyond the species

Ornamental Features

Black Alder has dark green foliage throughout the season. The oval leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Black Alder is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Black Alder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Black Alder will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Ornamental Features