A handsome, fast-growing large tree, sometimes seen in parks and gardens, the Italian Alder is often regarded as the finest of the species. Native to southern Italy, the Italian Alder has an attractive conical shape, providing good winter interest, and glossy leaves. Its tolerance of both a wide range of soils and of urban pollution makes it a useful tree for the reclamation of derelict sites as well as a specimen tree for parks and woodland.
Site and soil
Tolerant of a wide range of soils, including chalk, the Italian Alder also does well on compacted urban sites and derelict land. It copes well with pollution in towns, and its resistance to wind makes it useful for screening and hedges.
Height and spread
After 10 years: 9m x 5m After 20 years: 16m x 6m
Leaf and bark
Deciduous, dark green glossy, heart-shaped leaves, 4cm long. The bark is smooth and grey, with short vertical cracks.
Flower, seed and fruit
The yellow-brown male catkins are the longest of all the alders (7.5 – 10cm) and are borne in groups of 3-6 between February and April before the leaves appear. The hard green fruits are 2.5cm long, ripening to brown ‘cones’ which remain on the trees over winter.
The Italian Alder makes an excellent specimen tree in parks, large gardens, woodland and towns, where it copes well with pollution and compacted soil. It is also useful for windbreaks and planting in coastal areas, and for large, wind-tolerant hedges. Good for reclaiming derelict and brownfield sites.
The catkins of Italian Alder provide early pollen for insects and the over-wintering cones are a good food source for birds.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.