Grey alder (Alnus incana) is a small, short-lived deciduous tree or multi-stemmed shrub. It is found across the northern hemisphere, native to large areas of northern and central Europe.
Besides being used for firewood, the wood of grey alder has low commercial value and is rarely used for carpentry and turning. However, due to its rapid growth, the species is potentially beneficial for biomass production. With its ability to quickly regenerate and colonize disturbed areas, it has also proven useful in reforestation projects. As with other alders, the grey alder is able to fix nitrogen, rendering it useful for improving soil conditions in polluted areas.
Grey alder prefers moist conditions and mainly appears in riparian areas, such as lake banks and swamps. However, the tree is tolerant to various types of soils, moistures and acidities and is even found in elevations up to 1800 m.