In vitro-grown shoot tips of Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. were successfully cryopreserved by vitrification. Shoot tips (0.5–1 mm) excised from 6-week-old shoots were precultured in hormone-free Woody Plant Medium (WPM) supplemented with 0.2 M sucrose, for 2 days at 4 °C in the dark, and then treated with a mixture of 2 M glycerol plus 0.4 M sucrose, for 20 min at 25 °C. Osmoprotected shoot tips were first dehydrated with 50 % vitrification solution (PVS2), for 30 min at 0 °C, and then placed in 100 % PVS2, for 30 min at 0 °C. The solution was replaced with fresh 100 % PVS2, and the shoot tips were plunged directly into liquid nitrogen. The shoot tips were rewarmed in a water bath at 40 °C for 2 min, and then washed twice, for 10 min at 25 °C, with 1.2 M sucrose solution, before being transferred onto WPM supplemented with 0.5 mg l⁻¹ N⁶-benzyladenine, 0.5 mg l⁻¹ indole-3- acetic acid, 0.2 mg l⁻¹ zeatin, 20 g l⁻¹ glucose and 6 g l⁻¹ Difco Bacto agar. The shoot tips were kept in darkness for 1 week and under dim lighting for another week, before being exposed to standard culture conditions (16 h photoperiod). This protocol was successfully applied to three alder genotypes, with recovery rates higher than 50 %.