Alder Tree Sketch

European Alder watercolor sketch

This is a European Alder tree, Alnus glutinosa, growing along side of Lake Katherine. What caught my attention was the fruits growing near the top. From a distance, I thought they were berries however, when I inspected them up close, I found some neat looking “cone” shape fruits. This deciduous tree’s fruit reminds me of pine cones, I really like them. Unfortunately, I learned that the European Alder tree is invasive on a site called, Invasive Plant Atlas , a great site which lists tons of invasive species in the US.

Here’s my question: If the Alder is invasive, why did the staff of Lake Katherine plant it? What you do not see in this sketch is a wire fence protecting the bark from beavers. Perhaps they did not plant it but it grew from a seed, then maybe they should remove the fence and let the beavers have at it?!?


  1. Sometimes I don’t know how to feel about invasive species. For example, down here we’re being overgrown with Chinese tallow. It sucks, because it’s crowding out so many native species, but it’s the only thing that gets any real color in Autumn (& the color it gets is particularly lovely.) Almost the same story for the silktree/mimosa. We even have some of both species on our property, but they’re so very pretty…

  2. Lana: yes, even the invasives can be pretty, but when they eliminate everything else, they must be controled. Our invasives are really not that pretty. We have horrible garlic mustard problems and they take over everything eliminating spring and summer wildflowers. 😦

    Drowsey: I’ve missed you! You’ve been missing! Glad to hear from you.

  3. I think I was out of town and then found this post today and had to comment. First–fantastic sketch page. We also have problems with invasive species–some are worse then others. For instance, that garlic mustard is bad as you say. It’s been invading along the creek where all the bluebells are. I pull them up every time I saw them along the creek–very big job but they are easy to pull up.

  4. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally
    got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

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