An Alternative Alder

Welcome to the 3rd month of the year on our ‘Celtic Tree Calendar’ (March 18th to April 14th) 🙂

As I have already written about our native British Alder (Alnus glutinosa) last year I thought I would make this post about one of its far eastern cousins – the Nepalese Alder (Alnus nepalensis).

As shown by its name, this tree is a native of Nepal, growing in the subtropical regions of the Himalayas which also includes Pakistan, India, Tibet, Yunnan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand.

File:Alnus nepalensis (6364064339).jpg
Author Dinesh Valke

Like the British Alder it grows very well in wet areas such as alongside streams, but the Nepalese Alder, whilst tolerating a wide variety of soil types, actually grows best on moist volcanic loam.

These magnificent trees can reach up to 30 metres in height and 60cm in diameter with a silver-grey bark, shallow-toothed leaves and both male and female catkins which flower in the autumn, seeding in the following year.

Nepalese Alders are also fast-growing and are planted to prevent soil erosion, its root nodules are also nitrogen fixers. The wood being moderately soft, is highly valued by the local indigenous people and mostly used as firewood and for making charcoal, but also in light construction and for making boxes.

Wishing you all a very happy month!

Kim x


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