Alnus nepalensis (Alder)
A tall deciduous and fast growing tree . It is native to India and Myanmar and distributed throughout the Himalayas from west to east between 800 to 2500 m elevation. It is an early succession stage species and amongst the first to become established naturally on denuded areas. Fruits - cone, 1.3 to 2.5 cm long and 0.8 cm in diameter, can be collected from November to December. Seeds have a narrow membranous and minute wing. Cones are dried in sunlight and seeds are separated by gentle hammering. Seeds loose viability completely within a year when stored at room temperature (20 °C), while seeds stored at 0 °C temperature give 27 percent germination after one year (Ram Boojh and Ramakrishnan, 1981). It is a valuable species for timber, fuel wood and handicraft works. The leaves are used as a cattle fodder.
Seed collection period November - December
Number of seeds/kg 18,00,000
Seed viability 3 months
Pre-sowing treatment stratification
Germination Period 8 to 30 days
Germination percentage 58
Seedlings obtained/kg seeds 10,40,000
Mother bed with a mixture of sand, FYM and soil 1:1:1 ratio is prepared well in advance. Seeds are sown by broadcasting in open mother beds immediately after the collection because of short viability of seeds. After sowing seeds are covered by a thin layer of soil or straw to maintain the moisture and temperature. Beds are watered twice daily. Germination starts after 8 to 10 days of sowing and seedlings become ready for transplanting in polythene bags after about 25 days of germination. According to Ram Boojh and Ramakrishnan, (1981) alder seeds give best germination at a constant temperature of 20 °C under continuous light. Germination under darkness and at depth below 0.5 to 1.0 cm is found to be very poor, and seeds are photosensitive.
Source: Nursery technique of local tree species –II, SFRI Information Bulletin No. II: By U.V. Singh, S.P. Ahlawat & N.S. Bisht