Hazel

There are many examples throughout the park this one is in Hither Wood.

Latin/Botanical Name: Corylus avellana

Range: Native throughout the UK and Europe.

Height: up to 12m usually less

Uses: Hazel wood can be twisted or knotted, and so was used in thatching spars, hurdles, furniture and water divining sticks. Up to 1900s it was widely grown for its nuts, or ‘cobs’.

Description: Deciduous , frequently copied to produce small dense multi-stemmed bushes. Bark is smooth, grey-brown, stems are bendy and hairy. Leaves round doubly toothed, hairy and pointed at the tip. Hazel is monoecious, with male and female flowers on the same tree, although they must be pollinated by pollen from another tree. It is wind pollinated with yellow male catkins appearing before the leaves, the female flowers are tiny and bud-like with red styles. Oval fruits develop, which hang in groups of one to four, maturing mature into a nut with a woody shell.

Interesting Fact: Hazel is so bendy in spring that it can be tied in a knot without breaking. Bees find it difficult to collect hazel pollen and can only gather it in small loads. This is because being wind pollinated the pollen is not sticky and actually repels one grain against another.