The common hazel Corylus with around 15 common species, is a deciduous tree , native to the northern hemisphere, commonly used for coppicing. The flowers appear early, before the leaves. The female catkins are small, mostly concealed within the buds, with just a few mm of red styles visible. The male catkins are long, between 5 and 12 cms in a wonderful array of soft yellow that fills the hedgerows with delight.
The fruits, hazelnuts, or filberts, follow in the autumn.
Hazel is widely used for fencing and for the posts, for wattle and anything basket- woven, including the traditional coracle, sawn or split as the lath strips ( with chestnut or oak ) that holds lime plaster to stud walls.
The tree carries a mythology of wisdom, and in Grimms fairy tails, the hazel branch is cited as the means to ward off all creeping things.