Hazel Tree - what next?

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DHM

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Hazel Tree - what next?
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:19 »
In the far distant corner of our plot is an old hazel tree which unlike everything else our predecessor left behind, actually looks quite healthy. One half is straight branched the other all twisted and contorted, perhaps an old graft. Both 'sides' are covered in catkins and look to have fresh growth.

The old lads around say they've never seen it produce nuts (at least in the last 10 years) and it needs a mate to help with fertilisation, however I read elsewhere they're self fertilizing.

Without knowing how old it is, could it have had its day or could there be a way of getting it producing again? Does it need a pal? Any tips on pruning?

Even if its reached the end of its productive life we'll probably keep it as it looks quite nice but buts would be a real bonus. ;)

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New shoot

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2018, 10:14 »
It could be a twisted hazel (usually grown as an ornamental), which has thrown some straight branches out.  If you don't prune these out, they gradually take over part of the tree.

I have a twisted hazel in my garden at home and it does produce the odd hazelnut, but not enough to be considered a productive tree.  The twisted branches are nice to cut for display inside though,  The catkins last surprisingly well and you can stick branches in with other flowers to add interest.

You could prune out the straight bits and see if you get the full twisted hazel effect back.  Or if you coppice it, you may lose the twisty bits but get a tree that grows hazel rods for plants support.  Either way it may be worth keeping  :)

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sunshineband

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 10:26 »
I can echo New Shoot on the twisted hazel. We have two and they produce very few nuts ever, but look fabulous dripping with catkins

Depends on whether you want something with ornamental value, or a nut producing tree I suppose
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Goosegirl

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2018, 14:36 »
I have one as well and prune off the straight branches to keep its shape. For some reason only produces a few catkins. It's in part sun and part shade and hazel does grow well here so I don't know why. You could cut a few curly stems off and make a festive decoration using silver or gold spray paint or keep it natural and put some warm-coloured lights on it.
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DHM

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2018, 17:03 »
Interesting, so rather than a normal hazel with a curly hazel grafted onto it, it could just be a curly one that hasn't had the straight branches pruned out? That makes a lot of sense actually.

I'd rather it produce nuts as its position doesnt lend itself to being appreciated as an ornamental so I might do what's mentioned below and coppice it. We're growing flowers as well next year so the new twisty branches could be used in displays I suppose..  making a Christmas door decoration out of the prunings sounds like a lot of fun, I'll be doing that too!

Cheers folks ;)

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DHM

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 05:15 »
Had a walk up to the plot yesterday to have a look and having cleared the tripe away from the base it appears that there are actually 2 seperate trees, one straight, one twisted which look like they have been planted in the same hole! Easier to see now the leaves have dropped.

I've given it (well, them) a light prune to create some space inside the main bulk, but I didn't want to do too much as it's budding quite profusely and felt guilty about being too brutal. The branches of the curly bit are too thick for floral arrangements so I might just leave it to do its thing and appreciate ot for what it is; a useless but attractive relic!

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 10:01 »
Well that could be the remnants of some hard wood cuttings stuck in the soil and forgotten about  :lol:  Twisted hazel reverts quite easily so your predecessor might have been trying to get curly trees, but got one of each.

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DHM

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 18:22 »
Well that could be the remnants of some hard wood cuttings stuck in the soil and forgotten about  :lol:  Twisted hazel reverts quite easily so your predecessor might have been trying to get curly trees, but got one of each.

It wouldnt surprise me, we've made all kinds of unexpected discoveries!

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adri

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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 21:52 »
Is Twisted Hazel also known as Witch Hazel?

Saw one the other day and it was described as such.

Adri
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Re: Hazel Tree - what next?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 08:40 »
Is Twisted Hazel also known as Witch Hazel?

Saw one the other day and it was described as such.

Adri

Witch hazel is usually used as the common name for Hamamelis.  Twisted hazel is Corylus contorta, so a completely different plant species.



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