near the lake. Tip of leaf pointed.
catkins of Common alder. The female flowers which will develop into
cones are reddish-brown and just above the catkins.
March 23 2005.
Old persisting cones of Common alder
ALDER Alnus glutinosa
Alder thrives in waterlogged soils or by river banks such as along the
River Roding at Passingford Bridge, Essex. Those in Hainault Forest are
poor specimens. There is a small group near the Romford Road, where the
lake outfall reaches the road, and another group in the yard of the Rare
Breed farm opposite the pig enclosure. They can be recognised by the black
fruit or 'cones' which persist throughout the winter, releasing the seed
in the spring when they are a favourite with seed eating birds such as the
Goldfinch. The 'cones' may continue to hang on the tree. Although referred
to as cones the seed case is only superficially like the conifer cone. The
male and female catkins are present on the tree the previous summer, but
fully develop in February or March. The male catkins producing masses of
pollen which is carried in the wind. There are a couple of small, recently planted, Grey Alder
tree A. incana at both ends of the lake.