European white alder is a fast-growing tree that may be considered as a street tree. Early spring flowers are interesting, but not really showy. This tree may be difficult to find in local nurseries.
All Common Names:
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 2,
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6
- Moist, well-drained soil,
- Wet soil
- Wet sites,
- Occasional flooding,
- Alkaline soil
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
- Spring blossoms,
- Persistent fruit/seeds,
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Large mammals,
- Small mammals,
Tree & Plant Care
This species is best in moist sites and is able to tolerate short-term flooding
Disease, pests, and problems
Potential problems include cankers, alder aphids, and leaf miners.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe. Commonly found in moist sites.
Bark color and texture
Light gray bark is smooth, marked with elongated lenticels.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
The oval leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and alternately arranged. The edges of the leaves are doubly-toothed. The upper leaf surface is dull green and the lower surface is grayish. Little color change in fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male flowers in dangling catkins, yellow-red, in early spring before leaves appear. Female flowers small, pink, egg-shaped.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit are cone-like structures.