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Life expectancy around 60 years, max height 20m+, spread 5-10m, very fast-growing tree.

Alder Tree was sacred to the druids. The pith is easily pushed out of green shoots to make whistles. These shoots were trimmed to the desired length and then bound together for producing musical notes. The old superstition off “whistling up the wind” began with this custom.  Whistles made from green alder wood are said to summon the wind and water spirits. Three colour dye can be produced from the tree: brown dye from its twigs, red dye from its bark and green dye from its flowers, symbolise Earth, Fire, and Water.

The alder tree is a symbol of strength and battle, shows that you will win a battle first you may need to martial an inner conflict.  The alder orange red sap is associated with blood and war, the alder has a strong association with defence.  It weaves a spell of protection to guard against attack.  The rusty colour sap was seen as the tree bleeding, in ancient times this was seen as an indication off the tree’s generosity, that it was given off itself to help defend the land.

The bleeding bark and affinity with water led to many negative superstitions about the trees.  Alders were considered highly sacred, mysterious and secretive, often thought of as representing nature itself and containing the souls of our ancestors. For this reason, it was considered extremely bad luck to cut them down.

Male alder flowers are small, slender catkins, which gradually transition to the female flower in the autumn, before falling off and growing new in spring.  The unique transition of the flowering cycle of the alder tree represents balance, nature, and new life.

Alder is the food plant for many caterpillars of several moths including the alder kitten, pebble hook-tip, the autumnal and the blue-bordered carpet moth.  Catkins provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees, and their seeds are eaten by the siskin, redpoll (rarely found in Glastonbury) and goldfinch.  

Alder (Common)

  • Photos are for example only. Size, trunk and habitat will vary.  All trees supplied are between 1.75 and 2.75m (not precise height.)  Please feel free to contact us to discuss.   

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