Siberian Alder – Alnus hirsuta var. sibirica

Siberian Alder – Alnus hirsuta var. sibirica
Height: to 60 feet / USDA zones 5-9
Family Betulaceae – Alder, Birch, Hornbeam
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Siberian Alder leaflet

Trees to 20 m tall; bark gray-brown, smooth. Branchlets dark gray, angular, densely gray pubescent when young, glabrescent. Buds stipitate, with 2 scales, sparsely pubescent. Petiole 1.5-5.5 cm, densely pubescent; leaf blade suborbicular, rarely broadly ovate, 4-9 × 2.5-9 cm.

All of the alders associate symbiotically with species of the actinomycete Frankia , leading to the formation of nodules on the roots of the plants and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen. Speckled alder provides winter cover for snowshoe hare. Moose, muskrats, beavers, cottontail rabbits, and snow-shoe hares feed on the twigs and foliage. Low preference white-tailed deer browse, avoided by moose in the Lake Superior region.

Thickets provide hiding cover to moose and white-tailed deer. Beavers build dams and lodges with speckled alder. Songbirds, including American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, and Redpoll feed on the seeds. Woodcock and grouse eat the buds and catkins. Thickets provide drumming sites for woodcock and grouse [2].

Siberian Alder
Siberian Alder – Alnus hirsuta var. sibirica from seed is 14 years old

Native to temperate forests, along streambanks; 700-1500 m. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shandong, Japan, Korea, Russia (Siberia).

Siberian Alder bark

The wood is hard and dense, and is used for making agricultural tools and furniture. [2]

Native American Ojibwe used alder along with with bloodroot, wild plum, and red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) to make a scarlet dye for porcupine quill embroidery [3].
1. Siberian alder, Morton Arboretum acc. 313-93*6  photos by Bruce Marlin
2., Flora of China, Alnus hirsuta Turczaninow ex Ruprecht, Bull.
3. United States Department of Agriculture NRCS Plant Fact Sheet 565
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Family Betulaceae – Alder, Birch, Hornbeam
The birches have long been popular ornamental trees in North America, chiefly in the northern United States and Canada. Our specimens include river birch, Dahurian birch, paper birch, Arctic birch, Manchurian birch, Manchurian alder, downy birch, Japanese white birch, and 10 other species.
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