Hazel is a multivariate perennial shrub with uniformly broad hairy soft leaves. It has small, bud-like dark red flowers that bloom in early spring before the leaves sprout. The nut is about 1 to 2 cm in size.
Hazel grows in dense groups at dryish slope-groves and nutrient-rich deciduous and mixed forests. Its range covers almost the whole of Europe and Central Asia.
The hazel’s nuts are related to the more familiar hazelnuts. Using the nuts, especially in coastal and south-western Finland, has a long tradition. Oil extracted from them have been used to stop hair loss; as a herbal remedy, it is said to cure impotence. It was even used to pay taxes with. Hazel branches have been used for basket weaving and for the rims of barrels used to store Baltic herring.
The hazel provides nourishment and protection for many animal species, such as the small beetle (Curculio nucum). Its nuts are eaten by the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis), the squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) and by the Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius). Species-specific habitats are increased by removing spruce and keeping the habitats open. A hazel grove is a protected area under the law.
|wood||deadwood||stage of development||key biotopes|