How to Prune Speckled Alder


Considered a boreal, Northeastern type of plant, a typical speckled alder will reach upwards of 10 to 15 feet in height. If growing conditions are ideal, with very moist and rich soil, and pruning is done correctly your speckled alder could grow into a 30-foot tree. The key to proper speckled alder pruning is planning before you prune to ensure you do not remove an excessive amount of branches.

Step 1

Prune trees in their dormant stage during the winter months.

Step 2

Mark the branches that are to be pruned on the tree with brightly colored chalk. Planning which branches to cut beforehand will help to ensure you do not over or under prune your tree.

Step 3

Prune all dead branches. When planning which branches to prune, be sure to include all the dead branches. Removing these will help healthier branches get the nourishment they need.

Step 4

Begin at the trunks. If your speckled alder has multiple trunks, remove all but one.

Step 5

Prune the lower branches. You are aiming for a tree shape. All of the lower branches should be removed, leaving the one tree trunk.

Step 6

Thin the crown. Ideally, to create a true tree form out of your speckled alder, prune all but three main trunks in the crown area.

Tips and Warnings

  • The speckled alder can become invasive if grown in infertile soil that does not drain, making pruning a pointless undertaking. Always grow your speckled alder in well-draining, rich soil to keep its growth controllable.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Brightly colored chalk


  • "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants;" Brooklyn Botanic Garden Inc.; 2006
  • When to Prune a Speckled Alder

Who Can Help

  • Speckled Alder Information
Keywords: proper speckled alder pruning, speckled alder, speckled alder purning

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.