Common Hazel, Corylus avellane

Identification Features:

  • Bark: Smooth, brown with a light bronze sheen. Horizontal lenticels. Very thin sheets can peel away. Later vertical fissures can appear.
  • Twigs: Green-brown and covered with stiff, bristly hairs.
  • Buds: Smooth, green-brown and oval in an alternate arrangement.

Description/General Character:
It can often be no more than a shrub with multiple stems but can grow into a taller tree with bushy crown.

A widespread native tree across much of Europe.

Forming a common understorey and hedgerow species. Historically frequently coppiced.

Other Observations:
Male catkins appear in autumn on previous season’s shoots. They are light green and truncheon-like. In spring they extend up to 8cm and take on a yellow hue. The female flowers are pinky-red and very small, appearing in middle section of twigs. It is these that eventually form into hazelnuts.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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