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Corylus avellana
Common hazel

Common hazel (Corylus avellana) is a big, usually multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub reaching 4-8 m. It is found in natural stands throughout Europe and is cultivated worldwide for its nutritious nuts. Ecologically, the nuts also serve as an important food supply to several animals and birds, especially during the winter. The tree’s wood is not durable, but its branches have historically been cultivated in coppices and used for wattle, fence-making and as fodder for cattle.

The common hazel is a highly adaptable pioneer species, able to grow in both sun and shade. The best growing conditions are on fertile and nutrient-rich soils in a mild climate. The tree is, however, extremely tolerant to different climatic conditions and is even able to withstand frost in the growing season. It is often found in mixed deciduous forests, where it is an important species in the understorey. The tree also grows in forest edges, meadows, ruderates and along roads and streams.

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