Utils or Nepalese alder, Alnus nepalensis D. Don. (Betulaceae), is a deciduous or semideciduous tree with a straight trunk that reaches up to 30 m in height and 60 cm (rarely to 2 m) in diameter.
A. nepalensis occurs throughout Nepal at 500-3000 m elevation. At lower altitudes particularly, utis occurs on moist sites, such as near rivers and in ravines, but it will colonize rocky sites exposed by landslips, or lands abandoned following cultivation. It occurs naturally in both pure and mixed stands.
Utis is well known as a species that gives some stability to slopes. Utis seed has been broadcast to stabilize landslides. In eastern Nepal, many community forests user groups have planted cardamom under utis.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.
Genus - Alnus
Species - Nepalensis
Common name - Nepal Alder
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Small Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Hardiness zones - 7 - 9
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Height - 20'-70' / 6 - 20 m
Spread - 12'-30' / 4 - 9 m
Growth rate - Fast
Bloom season - Late winter - early spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / --
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Featured plant, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Seeds of alder requires 30-60 days cold moist stratification for best germination.
Stratification/ cold treatment: mix together equal amounts of sand and peat in a small container and moisten it with a little water. Mix the seeds in the medium and place it in the fridge at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (+2-+4C). Keep the medium moist throughout the stratification period.
After stratification sow on surface, keep moist at room temperature in the light place.
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