The Amazing Hazel

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by permaship, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. permaship

    permaship Junior Member

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    Hazel is a multi purpose champion of a plant that is super easy to grow, produces delicious nuts, pliable wood that can be crafted into a variety of products, provides early fodder for bees and an encouraging spectacle when flowering during the mid winter.

    What more can I say.... a plant so good people started naming their daughters after it.

    To view this post with tables , photos and diagrams go over to our blog here - https://balkanecologyproject.blogspot.bg/2017/07/the-amazing-hazel-essential-guide-to.html



    Hazel - Corylus spp,

    When we speak of Hazel we are generally referring to two species, Corylus avellana and Corylus maxima. The two species produce slightly different shape nuts and take different growth forms. Corylus avellana produce Hazelnuts and Corylus maxima produce Filberts. There are 14–18 species in the Corylus genus but many of the European cultivars we have nowadays are Corylus avellana, Corylus maxima or the result of hybrids between these two species. This post we will focus solely on these popular nut producing species.


    The leafy bracts that envelope the nuts are the easiest way of telling the species apart.

    During this post we'll take a close look at these versatile plants, including how and where to grow them, growing them in polycultures, how they can be used in agroforestry systems, coppicing hazel, and we'll look at some of my favourite hardy productive and disease resistant cultivars that we are offering from our Bionursery.

    Overview

    Latin name - Corylus avellana, Corylus maxima
    Common name - Hazel, Hazelnut, Cobnut, Filbert, Spanish Nut, Pontic Nut, Lombardy Nut.
    Family- Betulaceae


    History - Pollen counts reveal that Corylus avellana was the first of the temperate deciduous forest trees to immigrate, establish itself and then become abundant in the post glacial period. Humans have been enjoying hazels since prehistoric times and it is thought by some that hazelnuts provided a staple source of food before the days of wheat. Evidence of large-scale Mesolithic nut processing, some 9,000 years old, was found in Scotland and Hazels have been used extensively across the temperate zone throughout all civilizations.




    Corylus avellana - Common Hazel



    Description - Corylus avellana - Grows as a small tree or large shrub commonly reaching heights of 5 m with a 5 m spread, but sometimes can reach twice that height and takes a tree like form. The leaves, that open in late April and May and fall in November, are almost circular with double toothed edges and a short pointed tip. The leafy bracts are shorter than the nut.


    Description - Corylus maxima - Grows as a large shrub 6 m high with a 5 m spread. Resembling C.avellana but with young grey twigs, glandular and bristly leaves that are wider, longer catkins and leafy bracts that are tubular and closed twice the length of the nut. The nuts are also longer than C. avellana

    Both species are monoecious . The male flowers are encased in catkins that brighten up the landscape in the winter. The female flowers are tiny red tassels that emerge from buds on the stems.





    Sexual Reproduction - As mentioned above the plants are monoecious, producing male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers are held in catkins that form during the previous summer and open in the dead of winter and flower through to early spring. There are around 240 male flowers in each catkin and these produce the pollen. Give the catkins a flick in late February to see a small cloud of pollen erupt. Contrary to the wonderful spectacle of the male flowers, female flowers are almost invisible unless you are actively looking for them. They are tiny individual flowers, visible only as red styles protruding from a green bud-like structure on the same branches as the male flowers.
    A wind pollinated plant, the pollen from the catkins blows to reach the female flowers. If successfully pollinated and fertilized the female flower will grow to become 1- 4 nuts C. avellana or 1 - 6 nuts C.maxima .



    To view the full post with tables , photos and diagrams go over to our blog here - https://balkanecologyproject.blogspot.bg/2017/07/the-amazing-hazel-essential-guide-to.html

    I can only place 10000 characters on this forum.

    Cheers
     

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