Trees to look for in February — Hazel


Hazel

Where to look

Hazel grows across much of Europe, parts of north Africa and western Asia. In the UK it's often found in the understorey (lower, shrubby layer of the woodland) of lowland oak, ash or birch woodland, and in scrub and hedgerows.

Description

Although Hazel (Corylus avellana) can grow up to seven metres tall, it is usually seen as a shrub with lots of stems. This is because most hazel trees are coppiced. Coppicing is a way of keeping a supply of wood without killing the tree! To begin with, the tree is allowed to grow and is then cut down. The next year, lots of new shoots grow from the stump. Over time the shoots grow into many new ‘trunks’. When they are the right size, they can be cut down and used as firewood, ‘wattle and daub’ building, thatching spars, hurdle fences and bean poles. The next year, new shoots will sprout once more from the stumps and the whole process starts all over again!
 
Hazel is wind pollinated and has separate male and female flowers on the same tree but it cannot pollinate itself. The male flowers are the yellow catkins, known as ‘lamb’s tails’, which appear this month. The female flowers appear on the same branches as the catkins but they are quite hard to spot! They look like a bud with a small red/pink tuft on the top, and it is these that develop into hazel nuts after fertilisation Although pollination happens straightaway, fertilisation is delayed until 4 or 5 months later! Birds and animals help disperse (spread) the nuts by burying them to store for winter and then forgetting where some were, allowing the nuts to grow into new trees.

For more info see https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/hazel/ 

Where we've found Hazels


Hazel spottings journal (7 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
15 Apr 2020 In our garden All of us Buckley-Nolans We have two hazel trees.
27 Mar 2020 Capel's Mill ELLA The Weaver's
24 Mar 2020 Lower Amble Gavin Blended Spotted in Lower Amble, Cornwall.
12 Mar 2020 Blended
2 Mar 2020 Nailsworth Tamsin B Stroud Valleys Project
27 Feb 2020 Stroud Valley Community School
27 Feb 2020 Rodborough Robin L Layfield Leafgatherers Hazel in our garden

← OTHER THINGS TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

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