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Alder Management Workshop

2018 Red Alder Management Workshop – Sep. 29th in Kent

A stand of alder trees

Alder needs to be managed differently

Red alder (Alnus rubra) is the most common native hardwood trees in western Washington. This moisture-loving tree is most common in riparian areas near streams and wetlands, where it contributes to high-quality habitat and clean water. Alder is also a valuable timber species that can fetch premium prices for specialty markets. Alder is short-lived, though, and older stands can quickly lose their value, stability, and ecological function, often degenerating into brush patches dominated by invasive species.

Red alder needs to be managed differently than conifer stands. It has different growth traits, site requirements, and spacing needs. Its short life-span means timing is important for harvesting or managing successful natural succession, and this requires advance planning.

Alder challenges and opportunities

This workshop will take a comprehensive look at the challenges and opportunities that alder presents to landowners. We will explore management options for different alder stand types, including young, dense thickets and older stands that are falling apart. We will talk about market opportunities for alder and how to recognize and grow high-quality trees. We will also talk about managing natural succession for property owners who don’t want to clear-cut the alder but also don’t want it to become a brush patch.

The workshop will feature classroom sessions in the morning taught by experts in alder ecology, silviculture, and marketing. Topics include:

  • Red alder ecology – growth traits, suitable sites, life history, and ecological role.
  • Management options for over-mature/dying stands, including both harvest and non-harvest options for different property types, and managing understory vegetation that is typically associated with riparian alder sites.
  • Red alder silviculture – Improving existing stands, managing natural regeneration, and growing new alder plantations (this will cover seedling sources, site preparation, planting, spacing, and growing conditions for bottomland and upland sites).
  • Markets for red alder

An afternoon field trip will visit a site to see what a property owner is doing to help transition an overpopulated and weak alder stand to healthier, longer-term forest cover.

When and Where


The workshop will be 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday September 29, 2018.


The workshop will be held at Meridian Grange, 15422 SE 272nd St, Kent, WA 98042

Cost and Registration

Cost (includes lunch):

All registrations must be received by 5:00 p.m. Thursday September 27th. Discounts are available for students and active Master Gardeners – call 206-263-1128 for details. To be eligible for a refund, cancellations must be received by 5:00 p.m. Friday September 21st, and refunds may be subject to a $5 administrative fee.

Early Registration

Save $15!
Must be received before Saturday September 19th.

  • $45 per individual
  • $65 per couple (same household/ownership)

Late Registration

September 19th or later.

  • $60 per individual
  • $80 per couple (same household/ownership)


Register online

Register online with a credit card through Brown Paper Tickets. Online registration is available until 5:00 p.m. Thursday September 27th.

Register by Mail

To register by mail, send in the Registration Form (PDF) (an accessible, fillable PDF form best viewed with the free Adobe Reader software) along with a check made out to WSU Extension. Mail-in registrations must be received by 5:00 p.m. Thursday September 27th.

Acknowledgements and Accommodations

This program is made possible in part by funding support from Washington State University and King Conservation District.

Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Kelsey Ketcheson at 206-263-1128 or at least two weeks prior to the event.

WSU Extension publications contain material written and produced for public distribution. Alternate formats of our educational materials are available upon request for persons with disabilities. Please contact Washington State University Extension for more information

Issued by Washington State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in furtherance of the Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, and national or ethnic origin; physical, mental, or sensory disability; marital status or sexual orientation; and status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Trade names have been used to simplify information; no endorsement is intended.