Red Alder, Alnus rubra, can be used as a rough country hedging plant, although we think that Italian Alder or Common Alder are better for this purpose. It does make a neat screening tree, however, with a fairly narrow, tapering canopy. Red Alder will grow in very wet sites and poor soils. It needs full sun. Young red alder plants are very vigorous. They have ruddy-brown catkins in spring, before the crinkled leaves appear. Alder trees fix nitrogen into the soil, making it available for nearby plants to use.
It will reach 20 metres if it grows freely as a tree. The plants on this page are young saplings, ideal for planting as hedging or in woodland projects. You can also buy larger Red Alder trees here, which will give you more of an instant impact as a garden specimen.
Red Alder plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March).
Spacing a Red Alder hedge:
Plant Red Alder hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart.
General description of Red Alder plants:
History & uses of Alnus rubra
Red alder comes from the West coast of North America, where it is a classic pioneer tree that quickly colonises bare ground after storms, fires, logging or shifts in a river's banks after a flood.
Red alder can be used to reclaim sites with very poorly fertile soil, or to help prevent erosion of loose soils.