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Hazel Hedge Plants

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The details

Corylus avellana

Hedge Plants
  • Hedge Height: 1m upwards
  • Soil: all soils
  • Use: Country/eco hedging, coppicing, specimen tree
  • Single Row: 3/m
  • Double Row: 5/m staggered, rows 40 cm apart
  • Colour: Bright Green
  • Fruit: edible nuts in autumn, catkins in February
  • Location: Shade tolerant
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£ 1.65

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Corylus avellana: Bareroot Hazel Hedging

Delivered by Mail Order Direct from our Nursery with a Year Guarantee

Hazel is a superb, naturally bushy hedge plant with pretty, rounded, slightly serrated green leaves. Come the autumn, it forms the palest green hazelnuts, tightly held in an Elizabethan green lace ruff. In late winter or early Spring, the male part of the plant produces resplendent, fluffy yellow catkins which dangle decoratively along the hedge. It grows at a cracking rate, gaining about 45cm every year. If grown separately hazel trees will reach about 10 m.
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Delivery season: Hazel hedge plants are only delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small plants are cheaper and all-round more convenient for hedges, and will tolerate sub-par aftercare better than larger plants.
If instant impact is your priority, or if you're only buying a few plants for ornamental use, then you may as well use bigger ones to save yourself waiting for a year or two.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground: the roots aren't measured.


  • Size sold: 40-60, 60-80, 100-125 cm
  • Hedge Height: 1m upwards
  • All soils apart from very acidic.
  • Classic component of conservation hedging,
  • Good for coppicing or as a specimen tree.
  • Colour: Bright Green with lovely autumn tints
  • Fruit: edible nuts in autumn, catkins in February
  • Location: Shade tolerant

Growing Hazel Hedging

They are wonderfully easy going, ignoring even waterlogged soil or deep shade (both might be too much together, but the survival rate for 100 hazel planted in the wet shade will be non-zero), they will thrive on chalk, and acidic soil is fine. The only place Hazel won't grow is on the coast.

After its first prune immediately after planting (as always with country hedging), it needs little encouragement to thicken out and form a dense screen. 

Spacing a Hazel hedge: Standard country hedging: plant at 3 per metre, 33cm apart in a single row, or 5 per metre in a staggered double row, which has a W shape viewed top-down.

Hazel in your Garden

Hazel is a superb hedge plant, and interesting enough to be used as a specimen tree in a park or along a drive. 

If you want the best nuts for eating, have a look at the Filbert cobnut. Either way, if your hazel is to be for cropping, you should brut your hazel's branches by snapping, without breaking off, the ends of all the new shoots that were made this year. Count up to six or seven leaves on the new shoot from where it comes out of the older wood and crimp the shoot there by bending it over.  

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 - every other year is fine, and better for wildlife.
Because it supports so much wildlife and is resilient as anything, it is ideal for a range of mixed hedging uses. Its golden catkins delight beekeepers, as hazel pollen ripens early in the year.

You can coppice hazel to produce lovely, bendy withies or stakes for use in the garden: perfect for making decorative arches or wigwams to grow gourds, runner beans, or sweet peas over.

Did You Know?

As noted by the Brothers Grimm, hazel branches protect you from "adders, snakes, and everything else which creeps on the earth." As hazel is often coppiced or pruned, it is a good source of branches to make into walking sticks with V shaped heads, which are used to poke ahead of you in snake territory.  

The Celts were big hazelnut eaters, feeding the brain as it does, which is why squirrels always find their stashed nuts. In Ireland's spirit realm, there are nine enchanted hazels around the Well of Wisdom. The nuts that fall in make their way into rivers, where they are gobbled up by the Salmon of Wisdom (the eternal enemies of the Trout of No Craic), who absorb the hazelnuts' mystical powers into their infinitely deep minds. A druid once caught one of these salmon and planned to eat it himself, after his skivvy had cooked it for him. While cooking the fish, the young servant boy got grease on his fingers and licked them, receiving the fish's knowledge like a bolt of lightning to his brain. This lad was Fionn Mac Cumhail, called Finn McCool in English, whose deeds are documented in the Fenian Cycle. There is scholarly debate about whether it was Fionn, from the South, or Cú Chulainn, a local Ulsterman, who built the Giant's Causeway to Scotland. This debate is conducted by scholars in pubs after sunset, and sometimes in the car park outside when finer academic points need to be addressed. 

As a word for the eye colour, hazel was first recorded in Romeo and Juliet, where Mercutio criticizes Benvolio:

"Thou wilt quarrell with a man for cracking Nuts, having no reason, but because thou hast hasell eyes."

These days, cobnuts and filberts are snazzy in salads with a bit of apple and cheese as a plentiful source of fashionable protein and good oils.

Planting Instructions

Growing Hazel plants:

As a hedge, follow the planting instructions for country hedging.

Hazel will grow well in almost any conditions. It is shade tolerant, suitable for any soil, and it loves damp terrain. It is very hardy and suitable for windy locations, but it won't grow on the coast.

After you have planted your Hazel hedge, the most important thing to do is water it in dry weather. You will also need to weed around the plants. Watering should be thorough, so the ground is soaked. Let the soil almost dry out before watering again. Watering & weeding will be necessary for at least a year after planting.

Hazel is a vigorous, native hedging plant that benefits from being cut back hard right after planting In the following years, your young hedge should be trimmed lightly once in winter until it is mature. When it is fully grown, you can clip it at any time.

This is a very tough hedge plant that shouldn't need special attention once it has established.