Plant Guide > Trees > Alders > White Alder Tree

White Alder Tree

White Alder TreeThe White Alder (A. rhombifolia, Nutt.), equal in size to the preceding species, grows along the mountain streams from northern Idaho to southern California. It has a white scurf on its new shoots and the opening leaves are clothed with white hairs. Its wide sap wood is also white. The tree's spring appearance probably justifies its name. The irregularly diamond-shaped leaves are sharply and finely cut on thin wavy margins.

The wonderful thing about this tree is its blooming in January or February, hanging its conspicuous yellow catkins out while yet all other trees are asleep. Even in California this is a striking phenomenon along the mountain streams fringed with these trees.

The bark of the trunks of white alder is furrowed and dark brown. The trees need not be confused with the Oregon alder, if the trunk be examined.