The genus for this very ornamental form of Hazel is Corylus the species is avellana and this particular cultivar is Contorta. A splendid and unusual architectural small tree often called Harry Lauders Walking Stick a jocular reference to its gnarled appearance. The Corkscrew Hazel or Contorta was first cultivated in the mid 1800’s and the very first plant is still in its original site at Myddleton House.
A very slow growing form of Hazel the unique twisted corkscrewed stems are actually shown to their best advantage in winter when the leaves have fallen particularly against a crisp clear winter sky. The drooping yellow male catkins which make the hazel tree instantly recognisable appear in springtime and are followed by the edible nuts which as they are adored by squirrels should be picked swiftly.
The twisted and gnarled stems of Corkscrew Hazel are much favoured by florists and interior designers giving interest to floral arrangements or putting in ornamental pots indoors. Their gentle growth habit makes them perfect for sunny borders but plant strategically for winter impact as the summer growth is not as eye catching. This particular form of Hazel is eminently suitable for container growing so pots set out on a patio will also allow these wonderful convoluted stems to be enjoyed in winter from the inside looking out.
Corkscrew Hazels are fully hardy and will eventually in their own time make a height of 20ft. They prefer to be planted in sunny or semi shaded sites with well drained soil. Cutting dead or damaged stems should be done in March.
We sell our Ornamental Hazel trees in pots which allows for year long planting not affected or governed by the seasons or weather. Should you want any further advice about this lovely tree do not hesitate to contact one of our team who will be happy to help.