Turkish Hazel tree identification

The Turkish Hazel Corylus colurna, native to South-East Europe, Turkey and Iran was was introduced to Britain in 1582. It is an attractive tree, with a straight trunk. It is the largest species of Hazel and can reach a height of 20m.  It has been widely planted in city streets, where it thrives. It is tolerant of urban air pollution.  Its buds, catkins and nuts are similar to the Common Hazel but its fruit looks quite different because the nut sits in a cup that has long prickles. The nut is edible but it is hard and small and of no commercial value. For more information on the Common Hazel click HERE

Turkish Hazel tree identification – heart-shaped, crumpled leaves, cracked bark, male catkins in January, fruit with long prickles

A Turkish Hazel tree in August
Turkish Hazel leaf
The leaf is shaped like the Common Hazel but the surface is glossy and the edges are more lobed
Turkish Hazel leaf
The underside of the leaf has only a few hairs


Turkish Hazel bark
The bark is cracked into small scales
Turkish Hazel male catkins

Male catkins open to release pollen. Photo taken at the end of January. Female flowers are inconspicuous but similar to those of the Common Hazel

Turkish Hazel fruit

Fruit in July.  The nuts sit in an involucre of leafy bracts which has long soft prickles extending from it. 

Turkish Hazel nuts and 'cup' in winter

Fruit in January. The involucre has turned dark brown and the nuts still sit within it.

Turkish Hazel 'cup' and nuts in winter

The involucre, with its nuts, may stay on  the tree all winter, making it very conspicuous.

The buds are flattened

Tree inJanuary