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River Alder vs Red Elder

Alnus incana

Sambucus racemosa

River Alder
Red Elder

River Alder is a large shrub or small tree with a multi-stemmed, spreading habit. A shrub native to the boreal forests across North America, River Alder is an excellent tree for soil stabilization near rivers and creeks.

This tree is recognizable by its small brown seed cones and smooth, silver-grey bark with white horizontal lenticels. Unlike Green Alder, River Alder's seed pods are long and hang off short branches.

Unlike the other alder varieties, River Alder is attractive enough to be included in riverside plantings by municipal and provincial park organizations.

Red Elder is an attractive, medium-sized deciduous shrub.

It produces clusters of white flowers in the spring and bright red berry-like drupes, which provide beautiful contrast against its coarse, textured green foliage.

Red Elder can be pruned as a small single or multi-stemmed tree.

RIVER ALDER QUICK FACTS

RED ELDER QUICK FACTS

Zone: 1a
Zone: 2a
Height: 8 m (25 ft)
Height: 4 m (13 ft)
Spread: 4 m (12 ft)
Spread: 3 m (10 ft)
Moisture: normal, wet
Moisture: normal
Light: full sun
Light: partial shade, full sun
Fuzz/fluff: yes
Catkins: yes
Fall colour: yellow to orange
Fall colour: yellow
Berries: bright red berry like drupes
Flowers: white panicle flowers
Growth rate: fast
Growth rate: medium
Life span: short
Life span: medium
Maintenance: low
Suckering: none
Suckering: none
Pollution tolerance: medium
Pollution tolerance: medium




Toxicity: toxic to humans



Ships To Canada: yes
Ships to USA: no
Ships To Canada: yes
Ships to USA: no