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Hazel Alder Live Stakes - Alnus Serrulata
This small tree or large shrub is often seen growing along stream sides, riversides, swamps and in wetlands. It can be found in states along the east coast from as far north as Maine all the way down to northern Florida and as far west as the Mississippi River in the states of Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri.
It takes approximately 10 years for this shrub to mature. At maturity it stands about eight to fifteen feet tall. Its leaves are dark green and elliptical in shape with vertical veins running parallel across its 2 to 4 inch length. The back of the leaves are a lighter green with a hairy surface. The leaf's edge is wavy. The dark green leaves are set off by the shrub's smooth trunk, which is covered in a thin bark of a dark gray brown color.
The Hazel alder requires full or partial exposure to sun. Some plants are female, some male and still some are monoecious, producing both flowers and catkins. In the spring it is one of the first plants to flower, producing small red female flowers and moderately long male yellow-brown catkins each spring. After the female trees are pollinated, the catkins change to a woody structure like a pine cone. In the fall, because the tree is deciduous and sheds its leaves.
The Hazel alder offers food to birds, deer and humans as the catkins are eaten by humans and are a good source of protein. The alder is a source for wood, often used to make guitars. It is also used to make herbal medicine when the bark is boiled to make a tea to treat diarrhea, coughs, sore mouths, birth pains and toothaches.
Hazel Alder Live Stakes are great small trees or can also be used as a border for your lawn. It is great to use in natural areas and will also provide some shade for your plants. You may even want to plant it on your lawn to use as a small shade tree. You can find these growing a lot of bodies of water.