Forest Garden Trees
Volunteers from GO2 Bluebell and Marlpit planted the first trees and shrubs of the forest garden at Marlpit Community Garden on 15th February 2015 with more being planted in February 2016. Most of the original trees did well although we lost a few, some to muntjac deer.
In this series I will include photos and information about some of the trees and plants and their place in the forest garden.
Italian Alder (Alnus cordata)
The main reason for introducing this tree is that it fixes nitrogen which is then available for other plants in the garden. Unlike other alders, the Italian Alder will grow in the dry conditions we have in Norfolk so we planted our four trees in the western, drier, side of the site. This graceful tree can grow to 20m high. As it is a conical shape it does not cast too much shade. Secondary uses are for its edible sap and its branches which can be used for firewood or for growing mushrooms.
Our trees produced their first catkins this year as shown in these photos taken in February.