Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants (Alnus). Alders are deciduous, and the leaves are alternate, simple, and serrated. The flowers are catkins with elongate male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins, often before leaves appear.
Alders are commonly found near streams, rivers and wetlands thus lack of water is a serious problem in cultivation as bonsai; standing them on a tray of gravel can usually maintain them in good condition.
Leaves are (dark) green, and colour red and orange in autumn. The tree is strong and can take aggressive pruning/styling very well.
They respond well to ramification the division of the trunk and branches into smaller ones into increasingly smaller branches, making trees, shrubs and bushier and denser.
Short internodes (the section of stem between nodes, i.e. areas where leaves are produced) help increase ramification in those plants that form branches at these nodes. Long internodes (which may be the result of over-watering, the over-use of fertilizer, or a seasonal "growth spurt") decrease the grower’s ability to induce ramification.
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