Dwelling in moist places; Alder grow near rivers, ponds, lakes and in wet, swampy woods, also known as Carrs.
Their flowers were used as green dye, to colour and camouflage the clothes of outlaws, like Robin Hood and to also colour the clothes of fairies 🧚🏻♂️
Flowering between February and April, Alder catkins provide an early source of nectar and pollen for Bees, and the seeds are eaten by Goldfinches, Siskins and Redpolls.
The pale wood turns a deep orange after being cut, giving the impression of bleeding. So, in the past, many people feared them and the Irish thought it was unlucky to pass one on a journey 😅
The roots have nitrogen-fixing nodules, conditioning the soil and improving soil fertility on former industrial wasteland and brownfield sites.
It was said that a few Alder leaves placed in the shoes before a long journey would cool the feet and prevent swelling 🤷🏻♂️
Being a tough species of tree, their wood doesn’t rot when waterlogged, instead it makes them harder and stronger. Plus, mature trees can reach a height of approximately 28 metres and live to around 60 years.
Thanks for reading ✌🏻