This tree appears around many ponds and water courses. It is easily spread by nature and will completely cut off access to the water in a matter of a few years. It is used on many reclaimed landfill and mining sites. In agriculture it makes an excellent fast growing shelter used in fruit growing. If carefully maintained it can reach heights of 35 meters. In natural growing conditions Alder grows to about 20 meters high. Alder would make a good screen in a moderate size garden, the catkins and leaves have an attractive purple shine . Alder loves damp conditions but will be happy in most soil.