Ornamental Hazel trees are a wonderful addition to any garden and are chosen for either the most unusually shaped stems and branches such as the Corylus avellane Contorta or to use its common name Corkscrew Hazel or the flamboyant rich purple leaf colours of the Corylus maxima Purpurea commonly called Purple Hazel.
The Red Majestic Corylus avellana Red Majestic is the red leaved form of the Corkscrew Hazel and produces a magnificent show both with the same twisted stems but also has the addition of glorious red coloured leaves and reddish purple catkins.
All ornamental Hazels are hardy and easy to grow in any reasonable soil including chalk in full sun or in part shade. The catkins pollinate the tiny red flower buds to produce the nuts enjoyed by wildlife. Squirrels are great harvesters of these nuts spreading the growth areas far and wide as they don’t always remember where they have planted them. The avellana varieties of Hazel produce the cobnuts the filberts varieties have the larger nuts that are ready for picking earlier in the season.
These highly architectural specimen trees are slow growing and really should be planted in areas of the garden most readily seen in winter as this is when they are at the their most dramatic against winter skies. The red leaved varieties produce a much more vibrant leaf colour if regularly cut back and if planted in full sun.
As single specimen trees or planted close by each other they will make a wonderful impact any garden.