Hazel grows in the southern half of Sweden. It immigrated 9500 years ago.It has heart shaped, downy leaves with serrated margin. It mostly grows as shrubs, 3 – 5 meters high, but also as trees and can then get 10 meters tall. The bark is smooth and brown or grayish. As a shrub it seldom gets more than 25 years old, but can as a tree reach 70 years in age.Hazel likes nutritious soils and much light. It grows mostly as undergrowth or at the edge of the forests.
It is yellowish white to slightly reddish, bigger trunks have dark, brown heartwood. Cleaves easily and is readily bent. When growing in tight populations or coppiced it provides material for basketry, fences, walking sticks, barrel hoops and more.
Did you know that:
- The nuts have been an important source for food and the catkins and bud have been ground and mixed with flour.
- Hazel nut oil is used in salads and in cosmetics.
- A decoction of the female flowers was used to cure flu.
- Hazel could protect from snake bite and lightning stroke. Hazel rods kept evil powers away when stuck in the ground or carried on travels.