The Turkish Hazel is large tree with a medium growth rate, which can grow up to 15 meters with a wide conical appearance. It is native to Southern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Balkans, Mediterranean countries, Caucasus and Turkey. The Turkish hazel also known as ‘Corylus colurna’, is known for its bold texture, pyramidal form, ornamental winter bark, stems and catkins, dense shade from dark shiny foliage and for its urban tolerance. Thus, this article will look into the profile of the Turkish Hazel with special emphasis placed on its habitat, appearance and its usage.
Habitat of the Turkish Hazel
The tree requires full to partial sunlight and it prefers fresh, moist, well draining soil. However, being a very urban and stress tolerant tree, the Turkish Hazel is able to adapt to heat, drought, poor soils, pollution, compact or dry soils as well as to various pH values. It can also withstand warm to cool temperatures as well as soil depths of shallow to very deep. However, the tree usually prefers sunny areas, although it can adapt to living in shady areas as well. Furthermore, the tree is able to resist winds, is frost-hardy and salt-tolerant. These features characterize its adaptability to various climates and environments even in an urban setting.
The leaves of the tree appear wide and oval while the leaf edges are double-toothed in appearance. The size of the Turkish Hazel leaf could range from 5 – 15 cm in length to 4 to 12 cm in width. Characteristically, the top of the leaf appears dark green and the belly of the leaf usually appears light green. However, during the autumn, the leaves of the Turkish Hazel appear golden yellow.
Flowers, fruits and the bark
When it comes to flowers, the female flowers are inconspicuous while the male catkins appear as a decorative yellow. Fruits, on the other hand, are thick shelled and are enclosed within a deeply fringed husk. They appear in ball like clusters while the nuts are tasteless. The bark of the tree is usually dark brown, although it can change color to a grey-brown following flaking off. However, branches can vary in color and are usually olive brown, pale yellowish grey or grey-brown in appearance.
When considering the growth of Turkish Hazel, it should be remembered that the tree has a spread of around 6 to 8 meters in addition to being 12 to 15 meters tall.
The usability of Turkish Hazel
The size and the spread of the tree provides for its use as a wind-break and a shading tree in public areas, parks as well as in road side verges. At the same time, it can also be used in the backyard, in private parks, as well as in gardens although one needs to keep in mind the necessary space that will allow the tree to display its full potential. It also provides forage for honeybees as well.
Thus, when looking at the characteristics and its ability to be urban tolerant, it is evident that the Turkish Hazel is an underutilized tree for urban landscaping.