The British Cyclopaedia: Alder-tree.

The British Cyclopaedia
of the arts, sciences, history, geography, literature, natural history and biography; copiously illustrated by engravings on wood and steel by eminent artists.
Edited by Charles F. Partington, professor of mechanical philosphy, author of various works on natural and experimental philosophy, &c., assisted by authors of eminence in the various departments of science.
Complete in ten volumes.
Volume VI.
Natural history.
London: WM. S. Orr and Co., Amen Corner, Paternoster Row.
A genus of forest trees, indigenous to Britain. Belonging to the Linnaean class and order, Monaccia Tetrandria. Natural order, Amentaceae. Generic character: male flower receptacle of the ament wedge-shaped, truncated, composed of three flowers; calyx, scaly; corolla, four-parted; stamina, four-female flowers; calyx, scaly, or two flowered; corolla, none; seed, compressed, oval, naked. The alder affects moist bog earthy soil on the banks of rivers or water-courses. Its natural habit of growth is to run up with a plurality of stems; and when trained with one, though it forms rather a handsome tree, it is not long-lifed. They are much more valuable as underwood than grown for timber, being, like the willow, more vigorous for being cut down; that is, the roots are more active in yielding supplies to young shoots than to old stems. Alder poles are much used by turners and other small ware artisans; also by charcoal burners for the manufacture of gunpowder; and when butts of good size, and sound throughout, can be obtained, this timber is highly valued for piling and planking to lie constantly under water. The bark in some countries is used for tanning, and some quality used in dyeing is extracted from the young twigs. Of the fourteen species, the heart-leaved, the long leaved, the red, and the saw-leaved, are fit for the arboretum; and among the varieties of the common one, the fringed-leaved, cut-leaved, and oak-leaved, The Alder Tree. are ornamental. The common species are raised from the seed sowed on a moist soil in autumn. The curious varieties are propagated by layering — some times by grafting on the common.

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