Chinese Witch Hazel Hamamelis mollis

Description & features

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

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Size and quantity

Photo
Size / Height
Price
Quantity
 
30L pot size / 1.25-1.50cm
£144.00
55L pot size / 1.25-1.75m
£216.00
80L pot size / 1.5-2.0m
£420.00

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Product description

HAMAMELIS MOLLIS – Chinese Witch Hazel

Characteristics

Chinese Witch Hazel is mainly grown for the very early scented golden yellow flowers which are held in clusters on bare branches in January and February.

A multi-stemmed large shrub rather than a tree it can make 3m (10ft) tall with a similar spread.  The leaves are roundish and similar in shape to Hazel (Corylus), though they are not a botanically related species.

Where to grow

Witch hazels need free-draining soil conditions with an adequate supply of moisture. A light soil with plenty of added organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost, is best. They will tolerate heavy or clay soils if they are improved by digging in organic matter and by ensuring good drainage.  An open, sunny position is best, as they can become straggly in shade, although they do tolerate partial shade. Avoid exposed and windy positions.

Did you know?

A native of western and central China it was collected in the 1880’s from the district of Kiu-kiang near the Yangtze River by Charles Maries and sent to Veitches Nursery in Exeter, it did not get into general production till the earliest part of the 20th Century.

The origin of the common name is uncertain it may have some connection to the ‘Wych’ in Wych Elm or its similarity to Hazel which looks similar in leaf shape to Hamamelis virginiana a native of the Eastern United States.  The forked twigs of witch hazel can be used as divining rods.

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Shrub Multi-Stem
Spreading
Growth rate
Very Slow
Soil type
Chalk/Limestone
Light sandy
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Winter
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Flower colour
Yellow
Flowering month
January
February
Scent
Scented Flowers
Other
Needs shelter
Uses
Small garden Tree
Flower Arranging

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Shrub Multi-Stem
Spreading
Growth rate
Very Slow
Soil type
Chalk/Limestone
Light sandy
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Winter
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Flower colour
Yellow
Flowering month
January
February
Scent
Scented Flowers
Other
Needs shelter
Uses
Small garden Tree
Flower Arranging

Aftercare

Pruning Hamamelis mollis

Hamamelis mollis is a multi-stemmed shrub, and is best left in this natural form. The slow growing nature of Hamamelis means that hard pruning can leave the tree weak and unbalanced.  Congested and crossing stems should be removed, and unproductive growth should be cut back to healthy stems. Suckers are a common occurrence and should be removed at the base.

What time of year should I prune? Prune straight after flowering in the spring.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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