Red Alder

Alnus rubra


Red Alder is a deciduous tree native to the west coast of North America, from southern Alaska to northern California. It is a medium-sized tree, growing to a height of up to 100 feet and a width of 30-40 feet. The bark is dark brown to reddish-brown and smooth when the tree is young, becoming deeply furrowed and rough as it ages. The leaves are dark green and oval in shape, with serrated edges and a pointed tip. They are typically 2-6 inches long and 1-3 inches wide. In the spring, the tree produces small, reddish-brown flowers that grow in clusters. These are followed by small, cone-shaped fruits that are about 1 inch in diameter.

Red Alder prefers moist, well-draining soil and grows best in partial shade to full sun. It is fast-growing and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It is winter hardy and does not require any special care to survive the cold.

The edible parts of Red Alder are the young, tender leaves, which can be used in salads or cooked like spinach. The bark and twigs can be used to make tea. The bark and leaves can also be used for medicinal purposes, such as treating wounds or reducing inflammation.

Red Alder is valuable for wildlife, providing food and shelter for a variety of animals, including birds, deer, and small mammals. It is also used by some Native American tribes for basket weaving and as a building material. In addition, Red Alder is known for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, making it a valuable plant for improving soil fertility.


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