- Suitable as a woodland tree, urban tree, hedge plant, hedgerow tree, woodland shrub or windbreak
- Good in wet areas
- Deciduous but it is early to leaf and late to lose its leaves so has extended leaf cover for much of the year
- Safe to plant near livestock (non-toxic)
Grown by us in Herefordshire. Buy with confidence - read our customer reviews.
The specifications shown below are our normal range but we often have additional options. If there is something that you are looking for, it's often worth contacting us.
|Product Options||Height||Age||Root Type||Specification||1+||100+||250+||Quantity Qty|
|30-40cm||1 yr||Bare Root||1+0 seedling||£0.80 (ex. VAT)||£0.70 (ex. VAT)||£0.60 (ex. VAT)||
|20-60cm||1 yr||Cell grown||cell grown||£1.40 (ex. VAT)||£1.30 (ex. VAT)||£1.20 (ex. VAT)||
|40-60cm||1 yr||Bare Root||1+0 seedling||£1.00 (ex. VAT)||£0.75 (ex. VAT)||£0.65 (ex. VAT)||
|60-80cm||1 yr||Bare Root||1+0 seedling||£1.10 (ex. VAT)||£0.95 (ex. VAT)||£0.75 (ex. VAT)||Out of stock | Email me when back in stock|
Alder grows well from seed into a bare root tree in just one growing season. The seedlings we offer (sometimes called whips) are grown from seed sown in open fields in spring and become a viable tree sapling by the following November and we sell them from November through until April. We have bare root Alder whips in several heights.
We also have cell grown Alder plants which are grown by one of the UK's best specialist growers and these are ideal for woodland and amenity planting as well as windbreaks. These plants are available all year round.
The seed from which our Alnus glutinosa tree saplings are grown is usually UK provenance but we sometimes also have some of the highest quality imported seed so if it is particularly important to you to have UK seed provenance, please give us a call.
You can read more about the specifications we offer on the tab just below the pricing table - to the right of this product description.
Often chosen because it is so well suited to wetter soils and riverbanks Common Alder also does well on normal soils. There are many other attributes to this lovely tree/hedging plant. It has a tidy conical habit, is very fast growing initially, is native, has female catkins in March, comes into leaf early and then holds its leaves well into winter, and in autumn has attractive little cones.
Please be aware that Alder varieties are deep rooted so don’t plant near a building, road or paved area which could suffer damage from the roots.
An ideal tree or hedging plant for boggy ground and will even tolerate its roots being underwater for weeks on end so very much the tree to choose for flood risk areas where it helps to prevent soil erosion. It doesn’t rot in standing water but actually the wood just gets stronger. As well as it’s suitability to wet soils, it is highly tolerant of air pollution so is ideal for roadsides and urban planting schemes and it does not require a wet soil to thrive – it will be absolutely fine on normal soil. It has nitrogen fixing capability so it will not only thrive on poor soils but will enhance the soil and is an ideal tree for ground reclamation. Common alder is good in full sun or partial shade.
Whilst there are many varieties of Alder, Alnus glutinosa is the only variety native to the UK.
One particularly good attribute of Common Alder is that it comes into leaf early and it holds onto its leaves late so although it is deciduous, it is without its leaves for a relatively short time.
It has early male catkins (a good source of early nectar and pollen for bees and a wide range of insects) and small female cones in autumn (strobiles) which hang on the tree like Christmas baubles, opening to disperse seed on wind and water. The seeds are eaten by birds.
The leaves are quite large, dark green, shiny, shaped like a tennis racquet and indented at the end (so there is no pointed tip). They emerge from greyish/purplish buds.
Alder produces tough and durable light wood which is rot resistant and was frequently used for boat building.
Alders can be trimmed as a hedge, allowed to grow as a tall windbreak, or as a tree it will grow to about 20m with a conical shape. It is fast growing when young (up to 2m pa) in the right situation. Alder trees live for about 60 years, longer if coppiced.
This section gives definitions on the specifications of plants that we sell. We are specialists in field grown (or bare root) plants which are grown in two ways. The majority are grown from seed, some are ready within one growing season (seedlings or 1+0's) and some species require two growing seasons (1u1's). In addition to growing from seed we also grow from small plants or cuttings (transplants) which are much more widely spaced (taking more land, more irrigation water, fertilisers and labour). There are only a handful of bare root wholesale nurseries in the UK and of those even fewer grow transplants but Ray Jenkins has many years' experience of transplanting so we grow these in large volumes. Ray has written this blog about the benefits of bare root plants and how they are grown and another blog which gives further detail on bare root specifications.
The detailed specifications are shown below. If you are in doubt about what specification to use please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the project (and photos if appropriate) and we will advise you.
1+0 - field grown in one season from seed, known as a seedling (sometimes called a whip), generally a slender single stem plant. These are the cheapest specification and are particularly suitable for planting where weed competition will be less intense, soil is shallow or on exposed windy sites. Gives a high root to shoot ratio and minimal plant "check".
2+0 - a 2 year seedling, field grown from seed in the same seed bed in two growing seasons where the species cannot be grown to a saleable plant from seed in one season
1U1 - 2 year old plant called an undercut, field grown for two seasons in the same seed bed and undercut by machine (a sharp blade cutting the roots under the soil level) after the first year to develop the root structure. We do this with several species which take 2 years to develop (eg oak, beech, hornbeam)
1+1 - 2 year old plant (transplant) grown from seed in the first year and then transplanted into a different area of the field and spaced out for the second growing season - a robust plant with a larger and more robust root system than seedling or undercut plant which will enable it to better withstand drought and weed competition. Often the best choice and the staple norm for farm hedging and this specification is a requirement of the Countryside Stewardship Grant
1+2- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two growing seasons giving a tall, stocky, bushy plant
2+1- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further growing season, giving a strong bushy plant
3+1 - as above but field grown for a further growing season for more height and a very bushy plant
1+3- 4 year old, one year field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for three years, giving a very strong, bushy plant
2+2- 4 year old, two years field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two years - a very mature plant suited to certain species like beech and hornbeam where we can offer almost instant hedging
and some that are a bit different.....
P9 - a plant grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel in a 9cm pot (for holly which germinates poorly in the field)
Cell grown - a plant grown in small deep cells (like a small yogurt pot) and then lifted out of those for transportation. Commonly used in forestry and large hedging projects. Very high quality plants with excellent success rate. See our blog on the benefits of cell grown plants.
C+1 or C+2 - a 3 or 4 year old plant initally started as hardwood cuttings grown on for a year as cell grown plants and then lined out in fields to grow on for a further 1 or 2 years (a technique used for Cherry Laurel)