Monday, March 15, 2010

Celtic Tree Month - Alder

arch 18 through April 14 is celebrated as the month of the Alder; according to the Celtic tree Calendar. Because of its love for the water, the Alder is often used for underwater foundations. Examples: structures found in Venice, bridges, as well as medieval cathedrals are some of the many used for Alder wood. Its wood is easily worked and quite attractive when tinted or stained. It is sometimes called the Scottish Mahogany. Other uses for Alder wood are in the construction of chairs, barrels, bowls, and wooden clogs.

Alder leaves are simple and serrated and found in most parts of of the world.  The largest grove of Red Alder is said to be on the west coast of North America whereas Black Alder is native to most of Europe.  It is also kin to the Birch family.  The catkins which fall from the tree are high in protein and are edible although they leave a bitter after taste.  The bark of the Alder is also useful.  Native Americans used the Red Alder to treat poison oak, and other skin irritations.  Most recently studies have found that Red alder contains ingrediants that have shown to be effective against various tumors. 

Alder is most notably associated with the Celtic hero of Bran the Blessed. The Alder deity is considered to be Bran the Blessed or God of the  Underworld. Bran was said to have enormous size likened to that of a giant.  It has also been written that he was the first British man. 


Living a Balanced life in texas said...

I tagged you on my blog

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this really interesting information! I wonder if i could get an Alder Tree to grow in Ohio???

Judith said...

WOW Didn't know that. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

Great information, thank you for sharing.


Bridgett said...

So does it not weaken when it's beneath water for years and years?

I know virtually nothing about alder. These posts are interesting to me. :)

Scented Leaf said...

Great information, indeed!
I'm happy I'm got this information today, in the last day of Alder month. Days ago I "saved" a little Alder with Frankia bacteria symbiotic relationship.
You can see more at