Mountain Alder is a large shrub or small deciduous tree with shallow lobed leaves that are green on top and pale and hairy below. They have distinct egg shaped cones that are very small in size. Alder leaves are easily spotted in fall because they stay green through until late in the season.
|Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia
|Height and Spread
|2 – 10 m tall.
|2 – 4 m in spread.
|Mountain Alder have small inconspicuous catkins that develop before the leaves in early spring.
|Green on top and pale and hair below leaves.
|Seeds mature in late fall and remain attached.
|Light and Water
|Generally grows in partially shaded areas.
|Grows well in wet areas – typically along streams, ponds, lakes, or swamps.
|Mountain Alder has traditionally been considered one of the best plants for smoking and drying salmon because it doesn’t have pitch and does not flavour the food.
|Mountain Alder is generally of low value as browse for larger wildlife, though some deer have been known to eat it. Due to its thick foliage it can provide cover for many species of wildlife.
|In a garden setting Mountain Alder can be used near water features such as ponds for best growing conditions. They also prefer somewhat shaded areas, particularly before becoming established. With their thick foliage and small beautiful cones, Mountain Alder make a great addition to a garden or landscaped area.
|Mountain Alder can be very beneficial for damaged soil because it is a nitrogen fixing plant. This occurs through nodes in the roots. For this reason it is sometimes used for reforestation projects.
|Propagation of Mountain Alder, like many other shrubs and small trees, can be done by either seed or cuttings. The seed is best planted soon after it matures in late fall.