Distribution of Red Alder from USGS ( “Atlas of United States Trees” by Elbert L. Little, Jr. ). Alder pollen is a major allergen. Growth: Red Alder grows rapidly and can reach 40-80 feet (15-25m). Wind dissemination is very effective for natural regeneration. Dishes, spoons, platters, masks and many other items were made from Red Alder wood. The cones become woody , first they are green and later dark brown to black. Because of this association, the introduction of Red Alder to disturbed sites can quickly improve the fertility of soils, making the site more amenable to colonization by longer-living conifers. Female strobiles with immature male strobiles in the background.. Propagation: It is extremely easy to propagate by seed; no treatment is necessary, only sunlight is required. Use by people: The wood of Red Alder was second only to Cedars in its use for woodworking by natives. The Red Alder is botanically called Alnus rubra. overview leaves | overview blossomsoverview fruit | overview trunkoverview winter | overview trees, back to trees by common name | trees by botanical name | conifers by common name | conifers by botanical name | German: baumportal.de, © Jost Benning | Imprint | jowaca digital solutions. © Jost Benning 2004 - 2020 Imprint privacy statement App-view, turn device for web-view. Female catkins are short and thick, and are borne at the ends of branchlets. The official tallest red alder (1979) stands 32 m (105 ft) tall in Clatsop County, Oregon (US). A red or orange dye was made from the bark to color red cedar bark and to make fishnets invisible to fish. Deer and elk eat the leaves, twigs and buds of young trees. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia, is similar to Red Alder but is smaller; it is mostly an inland species is found in our range in northern Oregon. **Use of articles and photos on this site is permitted for educational purposes only. The leaf margin is serrated and the leaf arrangement is alternate. Beavers eat the bark and use the stems for building dams and lodges. WTU Herbarium Image Collection, Plants of Washington, Burke Museum, E-Flora BC, Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia, USDA Forest Service-Fire Effects Information System, Virginia Tech ID Fact Sheet + Landowner Fact Sheet, Native Plants Network, Propagation Protocol Database, Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn. Names: Red Alder is sometimes called Oregon Alder. Phenology: Bloom Period: February to April. It is relatively short-lived and rarely lives past 100 years. Male catkins and are slender and hang in a pendent manner. The male flowers (catkins) are strikingly long, the female flowers are often upright. It quickly colonizes recently cleared land. Red Alder is a host to nitrogen-fixing bacteria that form nodules on tree roots. This alder is widespread and based in Alaska, North America and Western Canada. The margins of the leaves are coarsely toothed and roll under. Relationships: There are about eight alder species that reach tree size in the United States and Canada, about 20 or 30 species worldwide. The leaves are ovate, pointed, and is about 15 cm (5.9 in) long. The tree likes sun to half-shade at the location and the soil should be sandy to loamy. The branches are red-brown, the buds are reddish brown, narrow and pointed. Red Alder can form attractive groves in young forests, especially along rivers and streams. The leaves are ovoid and the flowers are yellowish. Red Alder leaves are slightly rolled under at the margins. The bark is mottled, ashy-gray and smooth, often colonized by white lichen and moss. Long catkins appear in spring, before the leaves, producing copious amounts of pollen. Rubra means red– referring to the red dye made from its bark and the color of the wood when cut. Because of the whitish appearance of the bark, it is often confused with Paper Birch. In the Landscape: Although many consider Red Alder a “weed” tree because it will often invade landscapes, this tree is the first choice for ecological restoration. The name derives from the bright rusty red color that develops in bruised or scraped bark. Conservationand erosion control: Red alder is … The bark of Red Alder was also valued for its medicinal qualities; it is known to have antibiotic properties and contains salicin, which is used to make aspirin. Habitat: Red Alder is most often found in moist woods and along streambanks. It is used for furniture, cabinetry, small manufactured items, paper and paper products. *All photographs on this site were taken by Dana, Edmund or Sky Bressette unless otherwise noted. Western Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum aleuticum. Because of the whitish appearance of the bark, it is often confused with Paper Birch. Red Alder is the most important hardwood in the Pacific Northwest. Wetland designation: FAC, Facultative, it is equally likely to occur in wetlands or non-wetlands. The lateral buds stick out. Distribution: Red Alder is found from southeast Alaska to southern California, with some isolated communities in northern Idaho. Diagnostic Characters: Red Alder has thin, gray bark often with patches of white lichens. It produces small brown cone-like strobiles less than an inch (2cm) long that remain on the tree through the winter. Stands of Red Alder are favorable habitat for deer, especially on hot days in summer and early fall. The hard wood burns hot and relatively long, making it an excellent choice for firewood. Its most distinguishing feature is its wavy, toothed leaves with revolute margins (edges that are slightly rolled under).