Black (European) alder
A fast-growing, multi-stemmed tree in the birch family. Trees roots have nitrogen-fixing microbial symbionts. New leaf-growth is sticky to the touch.
- Invades all habitat types: floodplain forests, forest edges, prairies, wetlands, grasslands, streamsides, bogs and fens, marshes, lakeshores.
- Widely planted since colonial times and naturalized.
- Prefers wet soils and full sun, can be tolerant of dry conditions and shade.
- Trees can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds each year.
- Readily hybridizes with other alder species, threatening native populations.
- Seeds are dispersed mainly by water; seeds can float for over a year.
- Black alder increases invasive earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) activity.