Alders can be grown on a single trunk and be used as a specimen or on multi-stems in a group creating a fast growing wind break or visual screen. To build a screen and/or windbreak, plant Alder trees 6 to 10 feet apart and allow them to grow as multi-stemmed plants. Alders offer real interest in the winter when the branches are still holding the nutlike fruits.
The Alder will grow in a very wet area, at the same time it will handle a site that is quite dry. Because the Alder produces nitrogen in its root system, it will thrive in really lousy dirt and as a bonus improve the quality of the dirt, making it soil in a few years.
If you happen to live along a stream or a lake, this is a good plant because it helps to stabilize the soil on the bank and tends to lean over the water adding interest to the scene.