British Wildlife Wiki

Hazel - WWC Archives

The common Hazel (Corylus) is a shrub sized tree, but they have been seen growing to tree size.

Hazel leaves start to open in April, though the male and female flowers open in March. The nuts develop until October, when they fall off. Many of these nuts get eaten by squirrels, and there are often no intact nuts left by December. However, Squirrels and other animals bury the nuts to keep them fresh and to hide them, and they sometimes forget about them, and these nuts grow into trees. The same happens with Oaks and many trees that produce nuts.

Hazel is often used in coppice woodland, where the trees are cut and left to regrow, resulting in straight poles which can be used for many things. It was used for the roofs of watt;e and daub buildings. They were used as "dead hedges" when farmers started using hedges to enclose fields. The dead hedge would protect the living hedge until it grew big and strong enough to be stockproof.