Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Tree Types Glossary

What is Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana)?

Common Hazel, scientifically known as Corylus Avellana, is a species of hazel native to Europe and western Asia. It is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Betulaceae family. Common Hazel is known for its edible nuts, commonly referred to as hazelnuts, which are enclosed in a hard, woody shell. The shrub typically grows to a height of 3-8 meters and has smooth, grayish-brown bark. The leaves are rounded and toothed, with a pointed tip, and turn yellow in the fall before dropping off.

Where does Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana) grow?

Common Hazel is widely distributed throughout Europe and western Asia, where it thrives in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, hedgerows, and scrublands. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. Common Hazel is also commonly cultivated for its nuts in orchards and home gardens in regions with suitable climates.

How to identify Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana)?

Common Hazel can be identified by its distinctive features, including its rounded, toothed leaves and smooth, grayish-brown bark. The shrub produces catkins in late winter or early spring before the leaves emerge. The male catkins are long and yellow, while the female catkins are smaller and reddish in color. The nuts of Common Hazel are enclosed in a green husk that splits open when ripe, revealing the hard, woody shell that protects the edible kernel inside.

What are the uses of Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana)?

Common Hazel has a variety of uses, both culinary and non-culinary. The nuts of Common Hazel, known as hazelnuts, are commonly used in cooking and baking, either whole or ground into a paste. They are a popular ingredient in confectionery, desserts, and savory dishes. Common Hazel wood is also valued for its straight grain and durability, making it suitable for woodworking, particularly for making furniture, tool handles, and fencing.

What are the common pests and diseases affecting Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana)?

Common Hazel is susceptible to a number of pests and diseases that can affect its growth and productivity. Some common pests that attack Common Hazel include aphids, caterpillars, and mites, which can cause damage to the leaves and nuts. Diseases such as bacterial blight, powdery mildew, and eastern filbert blight can also impact the health of Common Hazel plants, leading to reduced yields and poor quality nuts.

How to care for Common Hazel (Corylus Avellana)?

To ensure the health and productivity of Common Hazel plants, proper care and maintenance are essential. Common Hazel plants should be planted in well-drained soil and provided with adequate sunlight and water. Regular pruning can help to promote healthy growth and improve air circulation within the canopy. Pests and diseases should be monitored and treated promptly to prevent damage to the plants. Additionally, fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer can help to support the growth and development of Common Hazel plants.