Above: the common alder
on Bethnal Green Road.
click on picture for larger view.

Trees of London
Bethnal Green Road

Common Alder

              The alder needs to have damp soil to grow, and for this reason it is usually found beside ponds, streams or rivers. It follows from this that there are not many examples in central London. Bethanl Green Road is slightly out of the centre of London, but not far east of Liverpool Street Station. Along side a visit to Brick Lane's famous Sunday market, it is worth a look.

              There are a few common alders to be found in the Royal parks, where there are ponds.

              Where it can be found, it is best identified by the rounded tip of its leaf, which is fairly unusual in trees.

The Bethnal Green Road alder.
click on picture to see larger view.

Also see

grey alder      Italian alder

Tree Identification

Alnus glutinosa:

alternate; veins: alternate; oval, round at the end, rather than pointed.

leaf of common alder
alder cones

nuts/fruit: small cones which are visible on the tree all year round.

alder catkins


male and female catkins.
alder bark bark:
rough, grey/dark brown with ridges.
grows to 30 metres; fairly straight, rather than round.
general: usually grows by streams or water; so it is rare in central London.

No map

West of Brick Lane; east of Sclater streeet;
two entrances to the Sunday market.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©