You are purchasing tree seeds, not an actual tree or plant. They were harvested in Sept. 2014.
The Black Alder is a medium sized tree that can grow to 40-60 feet, up to 100 in very ideal growing conditions. It tolerates a wide range of soil types including wet soil and it can grow very well in nutrient-poor soils. Black Alder is rapid growing, making it a good choice where a large windbreak if needed. It is a hardy tree that can survive northern winters. It grows in full sun to partial shade and provides both erosion control and ornamental appeal. In late winter, its emergent pendulous catkins sway in the breeze, providing early ornamental appeal. This is a great tree for a the harsh planting area.
Hardy to zones 4-7.
You can either plant in the late Fall or use a 3 months of cold stratification without peat moss and you can expect 50%-100% germination.
General seed care
Determine the last chance of frost for your area then count backwards 3 months. That is when cold stratification should begin. It is ok to store seeds until then. Keep them dry and store them in a refrigerator until you are ready to stratify them.
How to treat a tree seed:
Most trees and shrubs require a stratification process in order to germinate.
Stratification is the process of subjecting seeds to both cold and moist conditions. Typically, Seeds are layered (stratified) between layers of moist soil and then exposed to winter conditions by placing the seeds in a refrigerator. Temperatures must be between 34°F and 41°F. Use peat moss as the medium for cold stratifying seeds. The medium must be sterile to prevent harm to the seed by pathogens including fungi. To accomplish this you merely place the seeds in a sealed plastic bag (zip lock is fine) with moistened peat and refrigerate it. It is important to only slightly dampen the peat as excessive moisture can cause the seeds to grow moldy in the bag. Seeds of many trees, shrubs and perennials require these conditions before germination will ensue.
In its most basic form, the stratification
process amounts to nothing more than subjecting the seeds to storage in a cool,
not freezing, and moist environment for a period found to be sufficient for
the species in question. This period of time may vary from one to three months.
Typically, one would count backwards 30-90 days from the last chance of frost
for you area and begin the stratification process. Watch for the seeds to start to germinate and move them to a small pot to continue growing on indoors, especially if the chance for frost still exists in your area. If the chance of frost has passed then they may be sown directly into a bed for germination. If you have started tomato seeds or other vegetables from seeds than most likely you can also start a tree seed.
Any seed that is indicated as needing a period of warm stratification followed by cold stratification should be subjected to the same measures as above plus the seeds should additionally be stratified in a warm area first, followed by the cold period in a refrigerator later. Warm stratification requires temperatures of 15-20°C (59-68°F). In many instances, warm stratification followed by cold stratification requirements can also be met by planting the seeds in summer in a mulched bed for expected germination the following spring. Some seeds may not germinate until the second spring. Basically, you will put the seed into a plastic bag (zip lock) with moist peat moss. You will keep the bag out of the refrigerator for 30-90 days and make sure the peat does not dry out. After the 30-90 days of warm stratification you will place the bag with the peat and seeds into a refrigerator for another 30-90 days for cold stratification.