the seeds fall into the water, from the bank's green edge, and float downstream to germinate. alder wood is oily and water resistant, so it's great to use for making bridges, or rafts and is often used to make clogs. the bark makes a lovely red dye, and the cones will give a black dye. the inner bark will produce a dull yellow. crush the leaves into a paste to alleviate muscle pain, or to spread on burns, like aloe. hang fresh, young leaves, which are quite sticky, in the kitchen or chicken coop, like a flytrap to catch insects.
alder trees have fairy doors in their trunks just above the water line, and often you might see a crow or raven fly away from the branches in a hurry. that would be an alder fairy, changing its shape, so as not to be seen.
alder is also known to be the best kind of wood for use in hugelkultur, which is what this wood will be used for.