Italian Alder Saplings / Hedging

General Info RHS AGM
Shade Full Sun
Area Coastal Areas, Exposed Windy Areas
Soil Acidic, Poor/Dry, Wet
Type Hedging, Screening
Ornamental Autumn Colour
  Buy 11 or more bareroot plants and save

SIZES 1-10 11-5051-250251-10001001+
40/60 cm Bareroot Out of Stock £3.48Out of Stock£2.28Out of Stock£1.92Out of Stock£1.80Out of Stock£1.68
60/80 cm Bareroot Out of Stock £4.32Out of Stock£3.12Out of Stock£2.88Out of Stock£2.52Out of Stock£2.28
90/120 cm Bareroot Out of Stock £5.52Out of Stock£4.08Out of Stock£3.66Out of Stock£3.48Out of Stock£3.12
120/150 cm Bareroot Out of Stock £5.94Out of Stock£4.74Out of Stock£3.84Out of Stock£3.48Out of Stock£3.30
  Prices include VAT(where applicable)



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Alnus cordata: Bareroot Italian Alder Hedging Plants

Italian Alder is a vigorous deciduous tree with glossy green leaves and a neat, tear-drop shaped canopy that grows well on poor or waterlogged soils, making a tough and reliable rough-and-ready country hedge. It grows well in any reasonably sunny aspect and on any soil, except sandy. It can reach 30 metres if it grows freely as a tree, although 20 metres is more typical.

The plants on this page are young saplings, ideal for planting as hedging or in woodland projects. You can also buy larger Italian Alder trees here.
Browse the rest of our hedging and young trees here.

Delivery season: Italian alder hedge plants are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small plants are cheaper and generally more convenient for hedge use, unless instant impact is your priority. If you're only buying a few plants for ornamental use, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).


  • Deciduous.
  • Hardy.
  • Any soil except very sandy, any sunny location.
  • Ideal tough country hedging.
  • Yellow winter catkins; small cone-like fruit
  • Max. Height: 30m
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Growing Italian Alder

It grows on wet sites and poor soils, including chalky ones, and is the best alder for drier sites. It even tolerates salt-laden winds with ease. All alders enrich the soil with nitrogen, released from the colonies of nitrogen-fixing bacteria living on their roots. This makes them perfectly suited for reclaiming sites with degraded soil. Alder roots are strong and fibrous, so they're excellent at binding loose soil.

Of all the alders, Italian is the best for hedging. It looks good as a low-maintenance, informal hedge that is clipped hard every other year, in late winter to early spring. It is also an excellent screening and windbreak tree. It's quick to put on height and doesn't bend out of shape with the wind.

Yellow-brown catkins are produced in spring, along with the bright green edible foliage. The roots are invasive and can break old water pipes and damage the foundations of old buildings or walls, so plant at a safe 30 metres from vulnerable structures. New-build concrete foundations are not at risk.

Spacing an Italian Alder hedge:
Plant at 2 per metre, 50cm apart.

Good in Your Garden

This is a graceful tree with lovely, almost heart-shaped, shiny green leaves and attractive catkins in late winter, followed by mahogany button-like cones. It's great as a specimen tree in a waterlogged spot, used as a windbreak on a blustery hillside or, if you have the space, to create a grand walkway either side of a wide path or driveway. In a meadow setting, swathes of cow parsley can look stunning around Italian alders; it appreciates similar moist conditions, thriving in damp semi-shade.

Did You Know?

Native to southern Italy and Corsica, Italian Alder is monoecious, bearing both male and female flowers in separate catkins in late winter, the male ones more conspicuous; the females smaller, developing later into woody, green fruits. These turn deep brown as they ripen.

Red-orange Italian alder wood is valued in carpentry as it's good for turning, carving and moulding. Some of its most popular uses include veneer, panelling and clogs. Where it excels, however, is below the water line, hence its use for supports and piles in Italy's 'city of love', Venice.

Bonsai growers will be pleased to know that it makes a good subject for this diminutive treatment, responding to specialist pruning by branching out well and quickly producing much smaller leaves.

Former botanical names: Alnus tiliacea, Alnus cordifolia

Flowers & Bees: In late winter, trees produce pretty yellow catkins (long male ones; short, stubby female ones). These provide early pollen for bees, but are mostly wind pollinated.

Firewood: Italian alder makes good firewood. It's classified as a hardwood, but is much softer than many of the classic hardwoods such as oak and ash. It's quick and easy to light and burns brightly, giving off a lovely classic firewood scent. Its warm orange colour also looks fabulous stacked up next to the wood burner.

  • Small Box

    Small boxes

    (Orders containing seedlings or rooted cuttings)


    including VAT per order

  • Small box

    (All barerooted plants under 1.2 metres in height. Please note: all trees are charged at the trees and hedging rate.)


    including VAT per order

  • Medium box

    (Any pots up to
    and incl. 7.5L)


    including VAT per order

  • Trees & Hedging

    (For all orders of trees of any size, and all bareroot plants 1.2 metres and over in height)


    including VAT per order

  • Pallets

    (For all orders of root balls,
    and large orders, a pallet
    price will be automatically
    applied at checkout)


    including VAT per order

*Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.

Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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