Rhamnus frangula / Frangula alnus
Alder buckthorn has dark brown outer bark but the inner bark is bright yellow when exposed. Unlike purging buckthorn, the branches and stems are smooth and thornless. The twigs are smooth and straight, purple-brown in colour and have fine white streaks. Tiny white star-shaped flowers grow in clusters in spring. Alder buckthorn is used to make gunpowder, pigments and dyes.
Alder Buckthorn estimated full grown height:
Up to 6m.
Purchase size and growth:
These trees are cell-grown saplings, ranging from approximately 15cm-60cm in height. Cell grown trees can be planted all year round in most situations as long as they are given the correct care. Please be aware that depending upon the time of year you receive your sapling (particularly early spring) it may not look very perky upon arrival, please do not worry once it has been planted it should pick up quickly.
Due to excellent growing conditions, some of our saplings are now slightly bigger than 60cm. This means some customers may receive a sapling that is up to 80cm tall. If you do receive a taller sapling, it will arrive with a slight curve in the top of the stem in order to fit it into the box. This should straighten out once planted, usually within four weeks. No matter which size you'll receive, all of our saplings are healthy and should grow into strong, sturdy trees. Unfortunately, we cannot determine which customers will receive the taller saplings as they are chosen at random.
Value to wildlife:
Alder buckthorn leaves are the main food plant of the brimstone butterfly. The flowers are valuable for bees, and the fruit is an important food source for birds, particularly thrushes.
Alder Buckthorn preferred soil type or environmental conditions:
It grows best in wet soils and open woods, thriving in scrub, hedgerows, wet heathland, river banks and bogs. Although it prefers acidic soils, it can grow on neutral soils as well.
UK and Ireland sourced and grown (UKISG):
Every sapling that we provide is UK and Ireland sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Seeds are collected and stored in the UK, and they are all coded and batched so that we can track each individual tree.
More information about this tree is available here.