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Green alder

Alnus viridis

Home Trees Green alder

Native range

Native to the Alps and mountains of south east Europe.

Provenance Choice

Limited trials have been undertaken in Britain, mainly on reclamation sites; there is no British information on provenance variation.

Site Requirements

This is a large shrub or bushy tree which colonises mountain areas after disturbance. Best growth is found on freely draining moderately dry to fresh soils of poor to medium nutrient regime. It is not tolerant of drought, is not suited to very wet or alkaline soils, and has limited tolerance of exposure. It is cold hardy in Britain and frost tolerant. It grows in mixture with other tree species and can be used as a nitrogen fixing nurse species.

Pests and Pathogens

No specific information is known about the species’ susceptibility to pathogens but this is likely to be similar to that of Italian alder.


It has a potential role in upland forests where it will not compete with trees being grown for timber. However, it is unclear whether this role will increase with climate warming.

Green alder is categorised as a Specimen-stage species. These are species that have not been trialled for forest potential in experimental plots, but have demonstrated sufficient positive traits of good form, growth rate and hardiness as specimens in tree collections to warrant further testing in plots on a limited scale.