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Clarke's Second Law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke

Alder

Behind the birch forest there's a piece between our yard and a seep that is nearly solid with alder. Alder is a wonderful stream side tree, providing wildlife cover and food. The tree has dark green leaves that are corregated and stiff. The seeds are borne in a structure that looks like a cone. (Botanists have a different name for it, but it looks like a pine cone the size of the last joint on your little finger.) The wood is a beautiful orange color. It burns without the eye irritation common to spruce and poplar, and is good for smoking meat or fish. But it is not a tidy tree.

Still, when it gets established on a stream, that stream is safe. Floods come and rip the alder out. Whatever hits the ground will sprout roots. The stems are tangled, and break easily. But grass comeing down the fresh stream in spring tangle on the stems and lower branches, slowing the flow.

I ordered a box of alder this year, thinking that I will find a market amount people who are doing reclamation work, and those who want to add a species to the edge of their pond.


Got something to say? Email me: sfinfo@sherwoods-forests.com

Want to talk right now? Talk to me: (8 am to 9 pm only, please) 1-780-848-2548


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Copyright © 2008 - 2016 S. G. Botsford

Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.