Alnus Glutinosa ‘Imperialis’ more commonly known as the Cut Leaved Alder, really impresses with its picturesque, bamboo-like structure. From a distance, it is actually difficult to differentiate whether it is an alder or a bamboo. It is a medium-sized tree with slender, funnel-shaped upright central stems and bamboo-like arched branches. These trees are mainly used for planting on moist and wet sites, perfect solitaire for waterfront gardens or grass and bamboo compositions.
The Alder Imperialis produces very fine, deeply incised, long green leaves. These deciduous leaves alternate with 3 to 4 irregular, narrow lobes curving outward. The buds and young leaves of the tree feel sticky, hence the name glutinosa (sticky). The tree is blessed with both male and female flowers, the egg-shaped alder cones appear from September. It is strongly rooted and looks very decorative with drooping branches.
Like other Alnus, Imperialis can thrive in poorly-drained wet soils and is chosen for land reclamation due to its ability to balance nitrogenous content. However, it does prefer moist, nutrient-rich and weakly acidic soils. It does well in both sheltered and exposed locations.
This common Alder is undemanding, and it requires very low maintenance and pruning. You can praise it for its resistance to frost, salt and wind. However, it doesn’t tolerate paved ground, making it unsuitable alongside roads and avenues.
Alder Imperialis is suitable in parks, coastal areas, Japanese gardens, large gardens, etc. It grows sluggishly and it takes quite a long time before it looks like proper tree, but once it matures, this variety can give a bamboo and fern like appearance single-handedly.
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