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  1. #1
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    Default Pesky Alders

    There's an area of pasture not too far from that house that's not being cut, where alders have begun to propagate. I've done some checking online to identify the species and while I don't know for sure what variety of alder this, is I'm pretty sure it's alder.

    It's propagated to a radius of about 100 - 150 feet. In spring, shoots come out of the ground (looking like asparagus) and by August they're about 3 - 4 feet tall. They're invading the pasture (grass) and if I had to guess what's there will continue to expand.

    Alder (their seeds and leaves) provides food for wildlife, birds, deer, moose...etc. and apparently the roots are capable of nitrogen fixation.

    I mowed them this spring but I don't think that will get rid of them. Anyone have experience with alder and how to control them?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    I have a lot of tag or speckled alder on my property -- it is a PITA -- it attracts beaver which then go on to mow down other trees. It grows like a weed and spreads easily. I cut it, mow it, pull it and in a year it is back to where it was. In spring when the river overflows it's banks it seems that more of the stuff pops up as soon as it dries a little. If you cut it a couple of times in the summer and let the grass get over the top of it it seems to slow it down -- but it will be back -- I have resigned myself to that fact that it will always be work that I have to do

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    Thanks Studor...you think in my case plowing it up would do it?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    If you can take out the roots with a plow , I definitely would do that-- In my case many of the places it grows would be tough to get a plow through. I think that the ones that I have pulled out have been the easiest to control after but once they get to a certain size you would need a backhoe to get them out

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Lloyd_E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    Mow, mow and mow some more. Also, depending on the time of the year... if you cut them they will die. Up here, it is a full moon in August!

    I cleared 2-3 sections(about 1/2 acre each) and I continue to mow even after 3 years. I think I was successful after year 5. I do mow(bush hog) the pastures once a year.

    I have another 3-4 acres to clear... will be a real challenge since it is in the wettest part of my land.

    Lloyd
    Work hard to get it down - play like tomorrow may end!

    Small Horse Farm: 12.5 acres: 2008 Kioti Dk 45SC with Cab, FEL, BH, 6' snow blower, 7' back blade, 7' box blade, 6' bush hog, 9"& 14" auger, 8' chain harrow, 4" chipper, sand spreader, 7' landscape rake, 3pt quick attach & coffee holder.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd_E View Post
    ... if you cut them ....in a full moon in August!
    Lloyd
    .....in your birthday suit... while humming the Rigvedas

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    New Brunswick, Canada
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    Just keep mowing them 2-3 times a year. Late aug is good before they send all the energy reserves back underground.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    What part of the world are you in?

    Alder is one of the best nitrogen fixers in the Pacific northwest. The market for alder logs is good and prices have sometimes been almost as high as for Douglas-fir.

    It's easily killed with 2,4-D.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Pete Judd's Avatar
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    The Thin Gravy Ranch in The wet PNW
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    Default Re: Pesky Alders

    Alder saw logs are going around 1000-1200 bucks per thousand BF right now, doug fir at around 500 or less. Western red alder is used for all kind of things. But on the other hand around here It can grow to a 12 inch stump in a few years. I mow, and mow, And when I cut them down, I drill a few holes with the cordless drill to make the stumps rot faster. Alder will rot out in just a year or 2 if left in contact with the soil.
    Yanmar 186D 1981
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  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Default

    I'm in the PNW and about half my property (45 acres) is covered in alder. When the price gets a little better I'm planning on logging and replanting with fir. I actually have to keep the cows and goats away from the alder or they eat them.

    That said, nobody is allowed to walk through the alder trees in the winter. There's a reason they're nicknamed widowmaker trees around here. The branches snap off 6-8' long and spear straight down into whatever's unlucky enough to be below them. Good luck getting rid of them at least be thankful they have a weak root system. :-)7

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