Hazel is one of those superb hedging plants because its natural shape is bushy, so it needs little encouragement to thicken out and form a dense screen of pretty, rounded, slightly serrated good green leaves all summer. Come the autumn it forms the palest green hazel or cobnuts, tightly held in an Elizabethan green lace ruff. In late winter or early Spring, the male part of the plant produces resplendent yellow catkins which dangle fluffily along the hedge. It grows at a cracking rate, gaining about 45cm every year. All this makes it a most important member of our range of hedging plants for sale. If grown separately hazel trees will reach about 10 m. They are wonderfully laissez-faire, ignoring even waterlogged soil or deep shade, acid or chalky soil to continue to thrive.
Hazel is shapely and interesting enough to be used as a specimen tree in a park or along a drive. Most hazel however is used for hedging. It is invaluable for this purpose and a pure hazel hedge is a thing of beauty and practicality in its own right. Grow it to be laid for fences or just trimmed to the correct height each year. It is also a key component in many of our hedging packs: its golden catkins delight beekeepers as hazel pollen ripens early in the year. Because it supports so much wildlife and is resilient as anything it is ideal in a range of mixed hedging options. You can also coppice hazel for coppicing to produce lovely, bendy withies or stakes for use in the garden. Grow gourds or sweet peas up them and persuade them into decorative arches or wigwams for runner beans too.
The Celts believed that eating hazelnuts conferred wisdom on you, even if you ate the thing that had been eating the nuts! Having said which, cobnuts and filberts have become very vogueish in salads. Meantime, in Germany the brothers Grimm thought that hazel branches would protect you from snakes and other creeping things of the earth.