Italian alder

Alnus cordata

Native range

Native to southern Italy and Corsica.

Provenance choice

Only a few trial plantations have been established in Britain and no provenance studies have been undertaken; seed from good stands in the natural range should be preferred.

Site requirements

It is a light demanding species, grows to the largest size of any alder that has been planted in Britain and appears to be tolerant of quite dry sites and alkaline soils. It is not suited to peats or soils of very poor nutrient status. Although isolated plots in western Britain have shown good growth, it is probably best suited to warmer lowland areas. It is cold hardy to about -25°C, withstands frost, and is moderately tolerant of exposure. Best growth is on slightly dry to moist soils of poor or medium moisture status. It has been used as a nitrogen fixing nurse species for more valuable broadleaves such as oak and walnuts.

Pests and pathogens

Some susceptibility to Phytophthora alni root and collar rot, but less than black alder.

Use

This is a species which may benefit from climate warming since its tolerance of drier soils and alkaline conditions could be valuable in areas of eastern Britain where drought risk may increase.