The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 14 December 2013
  • Updates planned: 1


Any of a group of short deciduous trees or shrubs related to birches. Alders thrive especially in damp conditions or beside running water, and it was in these conditions that they were generally found in Middle-earth. They are recorded as long ago as the First Age, growing beside Tarn Aeluin, the mountain lake where Barahir and his companions were slain by Orcs (and afterwards the branches of the alders were said to be thick with carrion birds).

Alders also grew in the lands eastward of the Blue Mountains, and there are many references to them from the Third Age. They were found along the Water in the Shire, as well as around the fringes of Midgewater Marshes. We also have poetic accounts that suggest they could be found along the Withywindle in the Old Forest, and also in the valley of Rivendell.

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