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Alders by the Pond 2

Tree Diaries ~March 2021

In this post a month ago I introduced you to our two alder trees, which I’ve nicknamed Al and Glute. Over the past month, Glute has been developing the most sumptuous catkins as you can see from the pictures below.

17 Feb’ 21

28 Feb ’21

19 Mar ’21

The distribution of catkins isn’t random at all – just three branches, all at mid height, have catkins – two or three bunches per branch, all about mid-way up the branch.

A fun thing to discover was the lime green pollen that comes from the male catkin if you rub it between your fingers. This must be how the legendary dye – said to have been used by fairies and Robin’s Hood forest outlaws – was made.

Lime green pollen used to make green dye

Zooming in on the most recent picture above we can see the tiny female catkins beginning to flower as the male ones in front crumble. Delicate purple petals emerging.

Flowers on female alder catkins emerging – Mar ’21

For some reason, the other alder, Al, has had a very inactive month – not a single catkin. They’re the same age, planted at roughly the same time, from the same nursery. They’re both in the same boggy pondside soil. As I took these photos this morning I noticed that Al was in the shade and Glute in full sun, and though Al will get a few hours sun during the afternoon I would say Glute gets more overall. Could this explain why Al hasn’t flowered? Not sure.

A quiet month for Al

Look out for more exciting Al and Glute updates!

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