General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4b -31.7 °C (-25 °F) to -28.9 °C (-20 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 20 to 80 feet
Plant Spread: 30 to 40 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Other: Male flowers are catkins, female flowers are strobiles (like tiny cones)
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Dye production
Medicinal Herb
Edible Parts: Bark
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Toxicity: Other: Freshly harvested inner bark is an emetic until dried.
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • Red Alder
  • Western Alder
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Alnus rubra
  • Synonym: Alnus oregana

Photo Gallery
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2012-04-05

photo credit: Noël Zia Lee
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2017-07-14
Location: Red alder near Waddell Creek in Big Basin Redwoods
Date: 2007-11-13
Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira

photo credit:  Walter Siegmund
Photo by robertduval14
Photo by robertduval14
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2018-05-17
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Oct 28, 2012 12:54 PM concerning plant:
    Native plant in Washington. Although it is often considered a 'weed tree' it makes a nice summer screen and is also great for smoky flavor on the BBQ (add chips or fresh leaves on top of the coals). Can be prone to caterpillar infestations, although I haven't noticed any in the past few years. This is our staple for firewood - quick growing and clean burning. The catkin buds are one of my earliest signs of spring, bringing a pinkish-red haze to the woods before the frogs wake up. The common name red alder refers to a red dye that can be made from the inner bark. It is a short-lived tree (60-80 years).

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