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Red alder - what zones???

kbonnici at ivory.trentu.ca kbonnici at ivory.trentu.ca
Mon Nov 1 20:35:36 EST 1999

_Alnus rugosa_ grows quite happily here in Peterborough, Ontario (South central
Ont.), so I don't see why it wouldn't get along well in New England. If you're
looking to plant it in N.E., I don't see why you also wouldn't look for stock
originating from that area, as it would be most adapted to local conditions,
etc, etc... It is quite easy to spot in the winter because of its distinctive
buds, and it roots quite readily from winter cuttings (ie. Mid
November-December). And here, it tends to grow in moist areas (lake and river
edges, on humusy or rocky soils) with a rather shrubby growth form. It is
*very* early to flower, and has bright yellow-green pollen, which is quite a
delight to a botanist aching for spring!

Good Luck,


In article <H54T3.284$J55.16574 at monger.newsread.com>, "Mike the Tree Doctor" <mlamana at bestweb.net> writes:
>Ahhhh...you take me back :).
>Lived on the west side for 5 years, east side for 1 before moving away. Now
>that you mention it I don't remember seeing much red alder east of the
>Santiam Pass...A. incana seems to be the analogue there.
>I was just wondering if anyone has tried to propagate them as
>ornamentals/timber outside of the narrow band of west-side slop I love so
>Thanks for your reply!
>Mike the Tree Doctor
><truffler1635 at my-deja.com> wrote in message
>news:7vf5ba$nna$1 at nnrp1.deja.com...
>> In article <PbCS3.6611$hK6.338427 at monger.newsread.com>,
>>   "Mike the Tree Doctor" <mlamana at bestweb.net> wrote:
>> > Folks:
>> >
>> > Am interested in propagating some red alder (Alnus rubra) for a project
>> > New England. Any ideas / experiences with cold hardiness and
>> > The provenance in hand is from central, coastal Oregon.
>> >
>> > Thanks in advance!
>> Can't help you much with the zones, Mike. But Red alder is found from
>> British Columbia through central California along the coast, and inland
>> at least as far east as Montana. It is abundant on recent slide areas
>> where mineral soil has been exposed on the slopes of Mt. Hood to at
>> least 2500 feet elevation, and I've seen it as high as 3600' near
>> Timothy Lake.
>> I'm not saying your source is incorrect, as Red alder _can_ grow along
>> creek and river bottoms, such as the Deschutes River in central Oregon.
>> But east of the Cascade Mountains it typically is much less abundant
>> than some of the related alders. The most common of these drier-land
>> alders is Thinleaf alder, which I've seen abundantly along the John Day
>> River and tributaries.
>> I'd say Red alder doesn't care for harsh winters: stay away from heavy
>> snowfalls over 2 feet in depth, although snowfall accumulations to 8
>> feet don't seem to bother it. It likes _lots_ of rainfall. But the
>> brittle wood doesn't hold up well with freezing rain. It *may* need
>> Alpova diplophloeus (a rather edible truffle) for both mycorrhizae and
>> symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, one of the traits alder is
>> prized for.
>> The tree is prone to disease and fungal infections: a wide host of
>> pathogenic and saprophytic fungi love growing on it. Most of these have
>> some commercial application, which is kind of nice if you like growing
>> mushrooms. Pleurocybella porrigens, Hericium erinaceus, Grifola
>> frondosa, Pleurotus ostreatus, Pluteus cervinus, Lentinula edodes,
>> Ganoderma lucidum, and a host of other fungi have already been
>> cultivated on either Red alder bedlogs or sterilized chips/sawdust mixed
>> with 5-10% bran by weight, with a little (up to 1%) CaC04 added to amend
>> the pH.
>> The tree can reach 130 feet in protected areas, at least, and can grow
>> up to 12 feet per year in Clark County, Washington. In stands where the
>> tree is being grown for mushroom bedlog production, Yearly basal pruning
>> and thinning is necessary. Trunks over 80 feet and relatively straight
>> are esteemed for lumber production, especially by the Japanese who enjoy
>> the light-colored (nearly white) wood.
>> Hope this helps some.
>> Daniel B. Wheeler
>> www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
>> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
>> Before you buy.

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