Alder is a good place to start, not only because it's the first letter of the alphabet, but Alders are a common tree in Coastal BC. The Red Alder is found most predominately in open areas that have recently been disturbed such as roadbeds and logging slashes. Alders almost immediately take a foothold in the once shaded area that's now exposed to full sun. It's considered a weed (even though it becomes a full grown tree) because of its persistent and pervasive nature.
The Alder is an important part of the regeneration of a forest. Forest succession is a process of death and rebirth. On a natural scale, the Alder is one of the good guys. In a forest replanted with evergreens (cedars, firs, pines), the lowly Alder isn't as welcome. Even though it's a nitrogen-fixer and adds richness to the compost on the forest floor, it strangles out newly planted trees that are being grown for profit.
|Young Alders along Shermans Main, Powell Lake, BC|
Aboriginal people used Alder bark for dyeing, and the wood for smoking meat and carving. Today it is used for furniture, flooring, and firewood. -- Margy