(25) Hazel

Hits: 14

  • Species
    • Hazel
  • Botanical Name
    • Corylus avellana
  • Location
    • Cannon Court Recreation Ground a line of coppiced hazel bushes along the short edge of the field behind the tennis club.
    • Grid Reference: TQ 15408 56404
    • Latitude, Longitude: 51.295076 , -0.346165
    • What3Words: broad.smashes.bolts
  • Identification
    • Although hazel can grow into a fairly tall tree, most are coppiced and so are multi-stemmed shrubs. The leaves are large with a heart-shaped base and a pointed tip. The most distinctive feature of hazel is the male catkins which are short and green when the appear in the autumn, but become long and yellow early in the spring. The female flowers are bright pink but really tiny and you have to inspect the twigs to find them. These eventually form the small, round hazel nuts.
  • About this species
    • The timber was used for the wattles in the wattle and daub panels in timber-framed houses. Woven hazel panels or hurdles were used as moveable livestock fences. Grey squirrels introduced from America in the 19th century, strip the trees bare of nuts before they are ripe. Even if the squirrel forgets where it has buried a nut, it is rarely viable and so few germinate to produce new hazel trees.
  • Local information
    • Hazel was one of the most valuable trees in the county. Nuts were an important source of protein until the 20th century and in Surrey September 14th was traditionally the day for the harvest. Surrey had thousands of acres of hazel coppice, primarily to produce charcoal for the iron industry along the Tillingbourne and for village forges.

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