The leaves of Gray alder are ovoid and up to 10 cm (3.9 in) long and up to 8 cm (3.2 in) broad. The underside of the leaf is gray felted. The leaf margin is double serrated.
The male flowers (catkins) are conspicuous, the female flowers are inconspicuous.
Small woody cones, first green then dark brown.
The branches are smooth, gray and slightly tomentose.
planting in groups, pioneer plant