Identifying Hazel in Winter

HAZEL (Corylus avellana)

KEY IDENTIFYING FEATURES IN WINTER

  1. Short bristly hairs on young twigs.
  2. Green/yellow catkins that look like lambs tails.
  3. Small scarlet red flowers.
  4. Remains of hazelnut shells on ground. Though not found under very young hazel trees.
  5. Often many-stemmed. Long, straight rods varying with thickness and age.

SIMILAR SPECIES IN WINTER

It can be easy to mistake the Hazel for these other common species...

Willow (Salix spp.)

Also grows with many straight rods and is widely coppiced. The overall form of willow can look similar to Hazel from a distance.

Oak (Quercus spp.)

Young oaks can have a similar grey/silver shiny bark.

Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Bark can look similar to young Hazel. Alder is also often seen as a multi-stemmed coppice stool. Alder leaves have a similar shape to those of Hazel. Look out for very distinctive purple buds on Alder in winter. This is an easy way to tell them apart as Hazel does not have these.

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