27th December 2016

Alder, though not a conifer, bears small, dark cones at this time of year. Alders thrive in damp places. Able to resist rotting, most of Venice rests on Alder piles but Alder wood also makes good charcoal for Gunpowder, probably why there is a lot in my home village (Catsfield, Sussex) where Gunpowder was a prominent industry. Having catkins from February, it provides early nectar, and several caterpillars of moths feed on it. It has a symbiotic relationship with a bacteria, which it provides with sugar through photosyntheses, while the bacteria provides it with nitrogen. This nitrogen also fertilises the surrounding plants. Lining many rivers, Alder roots provide favourite nesting places for Otters! Conditions: Deep, and crisp and even frost, and glorious sun. Temperature: Min 2- Max 8C.

Alder cones

Alder cones

Alder catkins

Alder catkins

Alders lining a Catsfield stream this frosty morning

Alders lining a Catsfield stream this frosty morning

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s