Hazel Alder (Serrulata) is generally described as
a perennial tree or shrub.
native to the U.S. (United States)
has its most active growth period in the
spring and summer .
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
summer and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Hazel Alder (Serrulata) has a
moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a
rapid growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
Hazel Alder (Serrulata) will reach up to
30 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
Hazel Alder (Serrulata) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
bare root, container, seed.
It has a
moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Smooth alder is used predominantly for streambank stabilization and wetland restoration. It is also a critical cover component of woodcock habitat.
Smooth alder is a nitrogen-fixing, thicket-forming shrub or small tree with dark, green foliage. It is a U.S. native. It is suitable for streambank stabilization because of its flexible stems and fibrous root system. A mature height of 8-12 feet may be reached in 10 years. Seed is produced in small cones with pollen contributed by birch-like catkins which bloom in mid-to late March. Compared to other alder species, smooth alder is more densely branched and produces more seed. Alders produce nitrogen for themselves by the activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria located in root nodules. For this reason, it is not recommended for planting in areas where additional nitrogen might add to water quality problems. Smooth alder has about 400,000 seeds per pound.
Required Growing Conditions
Smooth alder is native to the northeast. It occurs from southern Maine to northern Florida, west to southeastern Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois. It grows best in wet bottomlands and stream margins, however it will also grow in well-drained upland areas. It is moderately shade and acid tolerant, but is weak-wooded and susceptible to wind and ice damage.
Cultivation and Care
For streambank stabilization, smooth alder is best established as a bare-root or containerized seedling planted two feet apart within rows with rows two feet apart. It may be incorporated into a soil bioengineering system by planting at the toe of the bank just above any toe stabilization measures such as rip-rap, coir (coconut) logs, or fascines. On non-erosive streambanks it may be planted in two rows to provide toe protection. If this alder is planted for wildlife habitat improvement or wetland mitigation, planting should be done at a 5-10 foot spacing to allow for crown development and to optimize seed production.
General Upkeep and Control
Very little maintenance is needed except replacing dead plants and keeping debris from inhibiting growth.
Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) At present only common smooth alder is available from commercial and state nurseries.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA