Uses

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Alnus cordata.

Material uses

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Alnus cordata.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Pioneer, Nitrogen Fixer

This is an excellent pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands on disused farmland, difficult sites etc. Its fast rate of growth means that it quickly provides sheltered conditions to allow more permanent woodland trees to become established. In addition, bacteria on the roots fix atmospheric nitrogen - whilst this enables the tree to grow well in quite poor soils it also makes some of this nitrogen available to other plants growing nearby. Alder trees also have a heavy leaf canopy and when the leaves fall in the autumn they help to build up the humus content of the soil. Alder seedlings do not compete well in shady woodland conditions and so this species gradually dies out as the other trees become established[1].

Structure

The Italian Alder can be used as a support in polycultures. If the lowest branches are kept, the middle branches removed and the canopy kept high, Kiwis (Actinidia deliciosa) can be trained to grow up into the lower branches.

Windbreak

An excellent windbreak for maritime areas[2], it grows quite quickly and establishes well even in very windy sites[K]. Trees 5 years old from seed have reached 4 metres in height and are showing no signs of wind-shaping in a very exposed site in Cornwall[K].

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Can be propagated by seed indoor, or directly out and also with hard wood cuttings.

Seed

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered[3]. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered[200, K]. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring[4]. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them.

Rooted cuttings

Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.


Cultivation

Thrives on poor and dryish soils, even on chalk, but prefers to be near water[5][3]. Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation[6][5]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates very infertile sites[5][3].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[3]. A very ornamental tree[6], it is very fast growing, reaching 12 metres tall in 20 years in an exposed maritime position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall[2]. Very tolerant of salt winds, it establishes rapidly in exposed positions[2].

According to World Economic Plants, the correct author of this species is (Loisel.)Loisel. and not Desf. as we have given here. However, since all our other sources have quoted Desf., we have decided not to alter it at this time (1999)[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Alnus cordata. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Alnus cordata.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Alnus cordata
Genus
Alnus
Family
Betulaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
  • Nutritionally poor soil
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
25 x 8 metres
Fertility
?
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
green
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pfaf
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Rosewarne experimental horticultural station. Shelter Trees and Hedges. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (32202/01/01)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
  4. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (32202/01/01)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (32202/01/01)
  6. ? 6.06.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
  7. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-50



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Facts about "Alnus cordata"RDF feed
Article is incompleteNo +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupNo +
Belongs to familyBetulaceae +
Belongs to genusAlnus +
Can be grown from cutting typeHard wood +
Functions asPioneer +, Nitrogen fixer +, Structure + and Windbreak +
Has common nameItalian Alder +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has environmental toleranceNutritionally poor soil +, Maritime exposure + and High wind +
Has flowers of colourgreen +
Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has hardiness zone6 +
Has imageAlnus-cordata-leaves.JPG +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partWood +
Has material useTimber + and Fuel +
Has mature height25 +
Has mature width8 +
Has primary imageAlnus-cordata-leaves.JPG +
Has search namealnus cordata + and x +
Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teheavy clayture preferenceHeavy clay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameAlnus cordata +
Has water requirementshigh +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is grown fromSeeds + and Cutting +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates air pollutionNo +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilYes +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMetres +