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Corylus Avellana Aurea or Golden Hazel
Corylus Avellana Aurea is a version of common hazel with bright golden deciduous foliage. It’s perfect for hedging, wildlife gardens and large spaces.
Golden hazel is a cultivar of Corylus Avellana, our native hazel tree so it’s well suited to UK growing conditions. This bright golden version was introduced in 1864 and has always been popular. First to show after the winter are creamy fluffy catkins that hang from bare branches in long yellow lamb tails. Not only are these tails loved by children they also produce an early source of nectar for pollinators in January and February. Catkins mature into deep golden tails over the following months. Attractive, warm golden foliage appears after the catkins, which gives Corylus Avellana Aurea’s it’s more commonly known name of Golden Leaf Hazel. During autumn, female catkins may develop into hazelnuts if cross-pollination has occurred. More than one tree or shrub is needed to produce nuts.
Height and Spread of Corylus Avellana Aurea
Golden hazel can grow to a height of six metres and spread over four as a specimen tree, but it can be coppiced or hard pruned to maintain a much lower multi-stemmed shrub.
How Hardy Is Corylus Avellana Aurea
Golden Leaf Hazel is hardy throughout the UK down to sub-zero temperatures if the ground is well-drained. It will grow in any soil pH including chalky ground in sheltered and exposed situations.
How To Use Corylus Avellana Aurea
This gold hazel cultivar has many uses. It can be grown as a tall focal point tree in the lawn, it’s flexible stems wound into a living fence, or grown as a coppiced multi-stemmed hedge line.
Coppiced hazel stems have been used as pea or bean supports for centuries so make the most of these strong flexible branches in your own veggie patch.
Whether tall and stately or coppiced and bushy golden leaf hazel is excellent as a contrast tree or shrub with Purple Leaf Filbert to create colour and interest all summer long.
Hazel has a wild, informal appeal that makes it a great choice for a wildlife garden. It’s a good alternative to a fruit tree if the ground is less than perfect or your fruit blooms are destroyed by aphids each year.
How To Care For Corylus Avellana Aurea
Golden Leaf Hazel needs little care once it’s established. You can leave it to grow into a standard tree, train flexible branches into a living fence or coppice the branches in early February to create a bushy hedge line.
Hazel will grow in exposed and sheltered locations and it isn’t fussy about the type of soil. As long as the soil is well-drained hazel will grow anywhere.
Water young plants until they are established and provide a thick layer of mulch in early spring for healthy golden leaves over the summer.
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