Alderwood tree

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Alderwood tree

Post  Stphilbert on Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:33 am

Has any one worked with alderwood trees, they are abundant here in the NW, can they make a good bonsai tree?

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Re: Alderwood tree

Post  RKatzin on Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:07 am

Hi St., greetings from down the coast a bit. I have worked with a few Red Alder (Alnus rubra), styling them after the snow broken ones I see along the creeks in the mountains. They responded well to directional pruning and the cuts healed over well. I often see pure stands below the snowline where the tall slender trunks reach fifty to sixty feet and I would be tempted to try an alder grove.

I also have a Sitka Alder (Alnus sinuata), or Wavy Leaf Alder that I've grown from a seedling, oh, five or six years now and it is coming along nicely. You may see these up your way, but they're not indigenous this far south.

Alder are easy to gather from the woods, but they do not like to be crowded into a tight container. They have a fairly large leaf, so think big in your design, even though the leaves reduce well, and give them plenty of room in the pot. Do not let them get dry, ever! Especially in summer they can drink tremendous amounts of water, their natural habitat is usually in or very near water, or where the water table is just below ground level.

The Italian Alder is more commonly used for bonsai, bearing a smaller leaf, but ours are workable also. I like working with indigenous trees, even if they are not prefered species. Rick


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Re: Alderwood tree

Post  Stphilbert on Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:55 am

Thank you Rick,
I Am glad I am not the only one working with these, I search on the web but came up empty handed. I have a forest/grove I started last year from seedling on a slab, I have been cutting the leaves in half when they get too big or removing them all together, it helps with size reduction but it is challenging to keep the whole planting in balance. I am not sure the type of alderwood I have (the bark is green and turn grey when mature).
Thanks again for the info.

St

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