Italian Alder Alnus cordata

British Grown
Volume 1-2 3-9 10+
Price per plant £31.50 £27.30 £23.10
Price £31.50
British Grown
Volume 1-2 3-9 10+
Price per plant £50.40 £43.50 £37.20
Price £50.40
British Grown
Volume 1+
Price per plant £96.00
Price £96.00
British Grown
Volume 1-9 10-49 50-249 250+
Price per plant £2.94 £1.68 £1.26 £0.84
Price £2.94

All prices include VAT

Product description

ALNUS CORDATA – Italian Alder


Italian Alder is a large fast growing tree with glossy heart shaped leaves which grows to a height of 25m (80ft).

The shape is generally conic or pyramidal and the leaves very dense giving it the appearance of a large Pear tree from a distance.  Catkins hang from the tree in spring and the cones are held upright and are egg shaped.

Where to grow

Italian alder will do well on almost all types of soil however poor, it has become popular as an urban tree where it retains its leaves deep into the winter as a result possibly  of street lights.

Did you know?

A native of Corsica and southern Italy it is thought to have been introduced in 1820.  It has now naturalised and can colonise urban wasteland if a parent tree is close by.

Mature height
Very Large - 20 metres+
5-10 meters
Growth rate
Very Fast
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Early to Leaf
Late to drop leaves
Moisture levels
Wet/Water logged sites
Good for Coastal sites
Good for Windy sites
Good at altitude
Parkland Tree
City/Urban Sites
Good Firewood
Wind break


Pruning Alnus Cordota

Very little pruning is needed on Alnus cordata. Once trained as a standard, you may find that lower laterals are shed naturally, but if not simply remove these to the required height. The branches are generally well-spaced and as such require little maintenance.

What time of year should I prune? Prune when the tree is not in leaf (late Autumn – early Spring)

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By Phil Norman on 10/08/2016

Just wondering when the best time to plant Italian Alders would be?

By Simon on 11/08/2016

Hello Phil,

You can plant container grown trees at any time of year, while bare root trees can only be planted while dormant, approx November to March. If you come to the nursery, you can choose your own container grown tree, but if you opt for bare root, we will choose a tree for you. Autumn is a particularly good time to plant as the roots can start to establish before the weather turns.

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