- May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, waxwings, wood warblers, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, chickadees & titmice, orioles, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, vireos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.
- This bird-friendly native trees provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- All Audubon® branded trees are grown 100% Neonic-free by Bower & Branch, making these plants safer for the birds and safer for the environment.
- Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
- Ships in a plant-safe designed box
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Mature Height: 10-20' tall
- Mature Width: 8-15' wide
- Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
- Spacing: 8-15' apart
Why plant Audubon® Native Smooth Alder?
A soggy, neglected part of your property becomes a bird oasis with Smooth Alder! This moisture-loving native tree plays a key role in wetland habitats. Its vigorous root system stabilizes the soil, and its seeds, buds, and catkins (male flowers) provide nourishment to a variety of songbirds, such as pine siskins, goldfinches, sparrows, redpolls, and crossbills. Gamebirds like ruffed grouse and woodcocks also feed on the seeds. In addition, insectivorous birds seek out Alders for the vast array of insects—especially moth caterpillars—that the foliage supports. This includes backyard beauties like bluebirds, chickadees, wrens, and warblers.
If you see an Alder in the wild, it’s safe to say that you’re almost certainly near water. Smooth Alder, a.k.a. Tag Alder, a.k.a. Hazel Alder, is no exception. This North American native is never far from streams or swamps, often growing with its roots completely submerged. Like Birches, to which they are related, most Alders prefer cool-summer climates, but Smooth Alder is more adaptable. Its native range stretches from Maine to Florida and then wraps around to East Texas. Look for it in February or March, when the dangling, rusty-red and yellow catkins elongate, signaling that spring is just around the corner.
How to use Audubon® Native Smooth Alder in the landscape?
A patch of Alders is where you may find a strange little butterfly called the harvester. This pretty, orange, black, and chestnut butterfly is unusual, because its caterpillars are carnivorous! They eat woolly aphids, which they find on Alder leaves. Adult harvesters don’t visit flowers, so they’re rarely seen in gardens. They prefer tree sap, mud puddles, and dung.
Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
Audubon is devoted to protecting birds and the places they need, while Bower & Branch is devoted to the growth of true native trees and plants–no cultivars or hybrids. Together, we strive to unite communities in conservation and inspire individuals to cultivate a better world for birds starting in their own backyards, balconies, or patios. By guiding and recommending trees and plants truly native and beneficial to your region, we can really start to make a difference.
What is the definition of Native?
“In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European colonization. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money.” – The National Audubon Society
Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program.
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Hardiness Zone: 4-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Smooth Alder
Smooth Alder is easy to grow in full sun or part shade, as long as plenty of water can be supplied. It will need little supplemental fertilizer, as Alders have the special ability to “fix” nitrogen, or take it directly from the air. In fact, too much fertilizer can harm the microorganisms that enable the plant to do this feat. In time, Smooth Alder may form a thicket, providing good cover for birds. If you’d rather grow it as a tree, you can do so by removing suckers when they appear. In that case, it will grow much taller.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.