Name: Common Alder

Scientific name: Alnus glutinosa

Irish name: Fearnóg

Provence: Native to Ireland

Family: Betulaceae

Leaf/Needle: Deciduous leaf / Simple leaf

Growth: Fast

Height: 25 meters

Flowering: Between February and April

Pollination: Wind

Seed dispersal: Wind and water

Value to wildlife: High

Timber use:

Veneers, plywood, charcoal and gunpowder. High ability to withstand rot beneath water, so it was used for sluice gates and under water piles. Most of Venice is built on alder piles. Alder was also used to make clogs as the wood. Alder is a poor conductor of heat.


It was said alder was an unlucky tree and to avoid passing one when on a . journey (which would have been extremely difficult in old Ireland).

Ogham Alphabet:

Ogham letter Fern (Alder) F

3rd consonant of the Ogham alphabet

4th month of the Ogham tree calendar

Classification in early Irish law:

Aithig fedo (commoner of the wood)

Penalty for cutting one down, one milk cow!