Hainault Forest Website

Tree identification

Hazel Corylus avellana

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Buds alternate and greenish

Simple pinnate leaf, serrated edge Male catkins appear in January.
Male catkins. The small female flower is seen top left of the picture. Female flower Hazel nuts in the hedge on the path from Chigwell Row School to Sheepwater.

HAZEL Corylus avellana

Hazel is uncommon in the forest, although it occurs in copses, green lanes and plantations in the surrounding areas. There are seven coppice stools in Hainault Lodge and planting of hazel has taken place there and in the plantation area of the Country Park. The Hazel is wind pollinated and the male catkins appear in early January. The tiny female flowers can be found on the same twigs. Hazel is coppiced on a regular cycle in woodlands where it is used, and in Nature Reserves where Dormice are resident. All branches are cut at an angle at ground level to allow water to run off during the winter months. The stool then buds in the spring and sends up new growth. Cutting back every 7 years - a short cycle allows the timber to be used for making woven hazel fencing. The hazel stool can therefore be several hundred years old.

 

Young growth of a hazel coppice stool at Hainault Lodge LNR.