Growing hazels pays off, and not just because of the nuts
Do you have a hazel tree in your garden? If you do, most likely you are collecting great nuts right now. Hazelnuts are excellent for direct consumption as well as for drying. There are many foods and dishes that would simply did not exist without hazelnuts. We would all miss the great sweet hazelnut cream, wouldn’t we? But hazelnuts are used for other things as well. We shall take a look at the reasons why you should plant hazel in your garden. So what are the benefits of hazel?
Plenty of hazelnuts
We have already mentioned hazelnuts at the beginning of the article. Hazelnuts contain lots of calories and up to 63% fat. The rest is protein – 17%, and carbohydrates – 7%. You can get from 0.5 to 2 kg hazelnuts from one single bush. An interesting fact is that hazels tend to produce the best fruit in areas prone to flooding. The ancient Greeks were aware of this.
Anti-erosion function of hazels
If you want to prevent erosion, plant hazel trees there. They have rich and well-branched and flat root systems. Hazel is able to grow even in places where there is a relatively thin layer of soil so, hazels have been used to reinforce banks of rivers and slopes. Another benefit is a vegetative reproduction so it just keeps growing – you can hardly find a better tree for this purpose. Plus there is no need to fertilize the soil. Hazel gets enough nutrients from flooding.
An excellent windbreaker
If you combine hazels and walnut trees, you can create an excellent wind-breaking wall. Hazels can reach height of 3 – 5 m, but sometimes they may grow even two meters higher. The best option is to plant the Turkish hazel approximately 2 to 3 meters from walnut trees or from chestnuts. Hazel is not fond of winter winds, but it can handle summer winds.
Bees will love you
Hazelnuts trees create a true paradise for bees because they bloom quite early, from mid-February to mid-March and bees love it. At this time, there is no much flowers to pollinate, so hazels come in handy. Hazels are excellent source of protein – they provide bees with up to 46% of proteins that bees need. This is a much higher number than other pollens.
Various source of wood
Hazel bushes are excellent source of wood. It can be used as regular source of heat but sticks or wood chips are often made from hazels. Bushes need to be rejuvenated after 15 years, so cut overgrown branches – roughly 60 to 80 cm above the ground. After 20 years bushes will not be able to produce nuts. But if you rejuvenate – after 4 years, they start producing again. Pruning is necessary after 3 years. If you follow these regular intervals, the bush will be well-adjusted and will give you fruit.
Hazelnuts: Photo Pixabay
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.