Alder has the distinction of being the first tree species I’ve correctly identified using my new wee book. I found a row of alder growing where a local landowner had planted them a few years before.
Key to identification: the distinctive cones visible in the photos below could be seen all over the trees, clinging on long after they had died. Apparently they’re female catkins, part of the reproductive system of the tree. Together with the round-shaped leaves and smooth greyish bark of the young trees I was pretty confident in my identification. I happened to speak to the landowner, and it turns out I was right.