Red Alder - yusawiʔac - (Alnus rubra)
A fast growing and useful tree, the Red Alder is often a first choice for ecological restoration. Often found along streambanks and moist woods, it acts as a nitrogen fixer and a stabilizer, quickly improving the soil. The thin, dark gray bark turns white with age and is often confused for Paper Birch. To distinguish, the leaves of the Red Alder are wavy, toothed, with edges or margins that are slightly rolled under. They produce catkins in the spring often before the leaves, creating a lot of pollen, which can pose as a major allergen for some.
Red Alder produces tiny cones called strobuli that shed tiny, winged nuts in the fall and early winter. Native Americans choose the roots of the Red Alder to use in traditional basketry and net-making, often colored with a dye made from the bark. Dyeing the netting red prevents fish from seeing it, increasing chances of more fish being caught. Its’ wood has also been used in smoking fish and meat and is a great firewood. Wildlife enjoy the seeds, leaves, twigs, young buds, and for dam building.
*Dry to moist sites
*Max height 90', width of 30’
*Sold bare root
*Sold in bundles of 5
yusawiʔac *Lushootseed provided by the Puyallup Tribal Language Program.