The Hazel is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree with a spreading, bushy habit. Hazel leaves are broad, almost round with serrated edges, rather like a large beech leaf. Long yellow catkins appear in January and February followed by attractive mid green leaves that turn yellow in Autumn. Hazel grows as an under storey to Oak and Ash in mixed woodlands but is also common as pure hazel woods.
Clusters of hazel nuts appear in September covered in a frilly green husk, they are highly nutritious and rich in protein, mono-unsaturated fat, minerals and vitamin E.
Traditionally hazel was coppiced (cutting down to the base to re-grow numerous slender poles) and used in the construction of wattle and daub huts, fences and eel and lobster traps. Nowadays it would be a handy addition in a large garden to provide poles for pea and bean growing and other garden applications where poles are required.