Alnus incana ‘Aurea’ is a small tree with a continuous main branch that creates a narrow egg-shaped crown shape, which is a charm to see during its full season. It grows slower than its other incana cousins but forms a more compact crown. It is successful both as a single specimen and alongside a water body. The trunk is orange-brown in colour and the young branches are striking yellow to orange that appear very decorative.
The scattered leaves of incana Aurea, commonly known as the Gold Alder, are ovate with a pointed end and have a saw leaf margin. Its deciduous leaves with hairy undersides are strikingly yellow when young, brighter green later and turn pale green in summer. The female flower kitten appear purple in the month of March – April, meanwhile the male kitten are orange. The alder cones appear from September and decorate the tree throughout the winter.
The Golden Alder or Grey Alder can tolerate dry soil and has no special demands. It prefers moist to wet soil and weakly acidic or lime-rich soils. It is able to thrive in poorly-drained soils as well and helps in balancing the nitrogenous content.
This tree will, however, not tolerate hard paved ground. Therefore it is not suitable for plating along paved pathways or roads. Unlike Alnus glutinosa, it has no sticky leaves or other parts. Give it any spot, be it sheltered or exposed, as it is frost hardy and wind tolerant.
Incana Aurea is a very interesting specimen for the reforestation of mountains where the soil is very poor. It grows by the river banks and marshland in its natural habitat, hence it is perfect for coastal areas, parks with ponds, Japanese gardens, large gardens, etc.
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