Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Fagales > Betulaceae > Alnus > Alnus rubra

Alnus rubra (red alder)


Wikipedia Abstract

Alnus rubra, the red alder,is a deciduous broadleaf tree native to western North America (Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Montana).
View Wikipedia Record: Alnus rubra


Air Quality Improvement [1]  Low
Allergen Potential [1]  High
Carbon Capture [1]  Medium
Shade Percentage [1]  82 %
Temperature Reduction [1]  Medium
Wind Reduction [1]  Medium-Low
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [2]  Monoecious
Hazards [2]  The freshly harvested inner bark is emetic but is alright once it has been dried;
Janka Hardness [3]  590 lbf (268 kgf) Very Soft
Leaf Type [2]  Deciduous
Pollinators [2]  Wind
Specific Gravity [4]  0.41
Structure [2]  Tree
Usage [2]  A fast-growing and very wind resistant tree, it is an excellent plant for providing rapidly produced shelterbelts; The trees extensive root system also makes it suitable for controlling erosion along the banks of rivers; This is an excellent pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands on disused farmland, difficult sites etc; Its fast rate of growth means that it quickly provides sheltered conditions to allow more permanent woodland trees to become established. In addition, bacteria on the roots fix atmospheric nitrogen - whilst this enables the tree to grow well in quite poor soils it also makes some of this nitrogen available to other plants growing nearby. Alder trees also have a heavy leaf canopy and when the leaves fall in the autumn they help to build up the humus content of the soil. Alder seedlings do not compete well in shady woodland conditions and so this species gradually dies out as the other trees become established; Tannin is obtained from the bark and the strobils; Both the roots and the young shoots have been used in making baskets; A red to brown dye is obtained from the bark; Wood - soft, brittle, not strong, light, close and straight-grained, very durable in water; An important lumber tree, it makes a good imitation mahogany; A good fuel, it does not spark so can be used in the open;
Height [2]  66 feet (20 m)
Width [1]  23 feet (6.9 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 7 Low Temperature: 0 F° (-17.8 C°) → 10 F° (-12.2 C°)
Hardiness Zone Maximum [1]  USDA Zone: 8 Low Temperature: 10 F° (-12.2 C°) → 20 F° (-6.7 C°)
Water Use [1]  High
View Plants For A Future Record : Alnus rubra

Protected Areas




Parasitized by 
Agrilus politus[9]
Melampsoridium betulinum (Birch Rust)[9]
Shelter for 
Bonasa umbellus (Ruffed Grouse)[10]
Acanthis flammea (Common Redpoll)[10]

Range Map


Attributes / relations provided by
1i-Tree Species v. 4.0, developed by the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and SUNY-ESF using the Horticopia, Inc. plant database.
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
3Wood Janka Hardness Scale/Chart J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts
4Forest Inventory and Analysis DB version 5.1, May 4, 2013, U.S. Forest Service
5HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
6Aplodontia rufa, Leslie N. Carraway and B. J. Verts, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 431, pp. 1-10 (1993)
7An Ecological Survey of Endemic MOUNTAIN BEAVERS (Aplodontia rufa) in California, 1979-83, Dale T. Steele', State of California, THE RESOURCES AGENCY, Department of Fish and Game
8Phenacomys albipes, B. J. Verts and Leslie N. Carraway, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 494, pp. 1-5 (1995)
9Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
10Making The Forest And Tundra Wildlife Connection
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0