Hoary Alder or Speckled Alder TreeThe Hoary or Speckled Alder (Alnus incana, Willd.), native of both hemispheres, is a handsome tree of medium size in Europe and Asia, but it rarely rises above a shrub in America. It is second only to the black alder, from which it is easily distinguished, for its branches are speckled with white spots. Its leaves are pointed and lined with a hoary bloom; and there is nothing glutinous about the opening leaves and shoots. The wood is very similar to that of the other species.
Two Japanese species of alder have come into American gardens, both vigorous, large-leaved trees, of good size and excellent habit. Alnus Japonica has a pyramidal head of shining dark green foliage; Alnus tinctoria is round headed, with handsome foliage, and is proving hardy and rapid of growth in New England. A cardinal merit of these cultivated alders is that they thrive in ordinary garden soil.