Alder catkins by Eric Yeomans 1/2
Alder fruits by Liz Dack 2/2

Alder Alnus glutinosa

Alder is a typically East Anglian tree. It is the dominant tree in river valley carr woodland and is abundant, for example, along the Wensum and Nar rivers and in the Norfolk Broads. It is often in company with downy birch, guelder rose and various species of willow. In winter it is important habitat for flocks of redpolls and siskins and roving bands of tits and treecreepers.

Conservation status

Though it is restricted to wet habitats, principally riverine carr woodland, alder is common and widespread in Norfolk and not of conservation concern.

Details

Did you know? There are around thirty species of alder in the world, of which only one is native to the UK. Our species is widespread as a wild tree in Europe, Asia and North Africa and has been naturalised in parts of North America. Non-native alders are commonly used in municipal planting in the UK.

Alders have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots with which they have a symbiotic relationship. These bacteria, and the nitrogen they sequester from the atmosphere, make it possible for alder trees to live in flooded areas where nutrients are hard to obtain.
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