Bonsai Training Information

Alnus incana
Grey Alder, Speckled Alder, Tag Alder

Grey Alder is a smaller tree than the Common Alder and will reach heights from 10 - 24 metres, depending on conditions. It has smooth grey shiny bark with very distinct pores. In older trees this may become duller and grow some fissures.

Styles:

Formal upright, Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade, Literate, Broom, Rock-over-root, Clasped-to-rock, Twin-trunk, Clump, Group planting, Saikei

Location:

Outdoor

Position:

Full Sun or Partial Shade. In summer protect from drying out and position in dappled shade area. In winter ensure the pot does not freeze. Store in a cool room or cover pot in bark and sphagnum.

Watering:

It likes a moist soil, keep soils moist at all times. If allowed to dry out leafs will die and you may lose a branch or two.



Feeding:

Every 2 weeks days during growing season from mid spring to late summer. Use a balanced fertiliser.

Leaf and Branch Pruning:

Let the branches grow out till side shoots appear on the runner branch, before cutting back to leave a pair of side shoots. In younger trees you may not see this happening for a while, in which case you may need to prune back to leave 4 nodes on the branch once it has grown to about 8 inches.

Re-potting & Growing Medium:

Every 2 years at the begining of spring or in autumn. Prune roots no more than 20% off at any one time. Use a heavy clay soil 1 Part Loam, 1 Part Clay, 1 Part Sharp Sand. An alternative medium would be 2 Parts Akadama and 1 Part Pumice.

Wiring:

The branches are quite springy and not so easy to wire. It takes a few years of shaping with pruning before the branches are each enough to wire. If you need to wire best in spring but protect delicate bark.

Notes:

Thrives on poor and even on chalkly soils but prefers a heavy moist soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen.


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