Alnus incana
Common Name: grey alder 
Type: Tree
Family: Betulaceae
Native Range: Europe, Caucasus
Zone: 2 to 6
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: Purplish-brown (male) and green (female)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Attracts: Birds
Tolerate: Erosion, Wet Soil


Best grown in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates mucky soils. Avoid full shade. Winter hardy to UDSA Zones 2-6. Best in cool climates. Does not perform well south of USDA Zone 6.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Alnus incana, commonly called European gray alder, is a large pyramidal tree that grows to 40-60' tall. It is native to Europe and the Caucasus.

Genus name is the Latin name for alder.

Specific epithet means gray or hoary in reference to leaf color.


Canker can be severe. Powdery mildew and leaf curl may appear. Watch for aphids, leaf miners, tent caterpillars, lace bugs and flea beetles. Chlorosis will occur in high pH soils.


Best for moist areas of the landscape. Tolerates poor soils. Streambanks. Pond margins.