Tree of The Week CORYLUS COSFORD Filbert Hazel
22nd Jan 2010
Whether Hazel is a tree or a shrub is often up for debate, but one thing that is for certain is the usefulness and versatility. It comes in many different forms some with contorted stems others with purple leaves. The one I am going to discuss here is one of the best eaters and is used extensively for commercial production all over Europe and North America.
Growing to a maximum height of 16ft/5metres Filbert bushes have a number of interesting features, in late winter long yellow ‘lambs tail’ catkins cover the otherwise bare branches and in the autumn the lime green oval leaves turn yellow. The nuts appear in late summer and can be eaten straight from the tree in September or left until fallen to the ground for collection for winter storage. The Celts believed hazel nuts to be a source of wisdom and inspiration but in reality they are high in protein, unsaturated fat and vitamin E. The Filbert needs another cultivar for pollination, Gunslebert does this well. As always comments and questions are always welcome. Simon