Table of contents:
- Legends about hazel
- Description of hazel
- Application of hazel
- Growing hazel
- Breeding hazel
- Types of hazel
Hazel, or hazel among many peoples, is surrounded by a huge number of legends, legends and superstitions. So the Slavs attributed hazel to the sacred and pure plants, it was believed that lightning did not strike it. Therefore, during a thunderstorm, they hid under a hazel tree and plugged its branches by the belt and touched with them everything that they wanted to protect from lightning.
- Legends about hazel
- Description of hazel
- Application of hazel
- Growing hazel
- Breeding hazel
- Types of hazel
Legends about hazel
It was believed that a hazel rod can not only scare away the devil, but also drive away and even kill the snake, the creation of the devil. Hazel branches were also placed in barns to drive out mice. According to the beliefs of the southern Slavs, the souls of their ancestors settle on Trinity in the hazel tree, who at this time visit the earth. Souls come from the other world along its branches and return back through them.
Hazel (hazel) was attributed to the ability to detect hidden objects. And white hazel wands in pagan times served as a symbol for Druids, certifying their class and ability to be an orator.
In the days of the Vikings, 'the hoslur' - the 'hazel field', was used for pre-arranged battles with hazel stakes. Both the battlegrounds (holmganga) and the fields of official full-scale battles between the armies were designated by a hazel palisade, which outlined them with a magical line, separating them from the world of everyday life. In war, hazel was used as a magical protection.
An ancient Irish legend tells of "an old hazel tree dropping drops." According to legend, this magic tree exuded poison and when McCumhaill made a shield from it, the poisonous gases that entered from it killed the enemies.
There is also the ancient expression "Fiona's shield" - a poetic metaphor for magical protection. It is associated with the so-called luaithrindi - a kind of intertwining patterns on the clothes of Celtic warriors, which created a complete illusion of tied knots.
Description of hazel
Hazel, or Hazel (Corylus) - a genus of shrubs (less often trees) of the Birch family.
Hazel leaves are round or broadly oval, rather large. The shape of the leaves gave rise to the Russian name - like the body of a bream fish. Form undergrowth in deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests.
Flowers are unisexual, monoecious. Male - are collected by dense catkins, located on short twigs, develop in autumn, overwinter and bloom in early spring before the leaves appear. Female flowers are collected in bud-shaped inflorescences and sit in pairs in the axils of the bracts. Each female flower has a very poorly developed perianth. The ovary is inferior, two-celled, with one testicle (ovule) in each nest.
Due to the underdevelopment of one testicle, the fruit is one-seeded with a ligneous pericarp - a nut. Each nut is surrounded by a tubular incised cover, the so-called plyus, derived from the bracts and two bracts (pre-leaves) of a female flower. Seed without protein, with thick, oil-rich cotyledons that remain in the ground when the seed germinates.
Hazel blossoms in March. Inflorescences are fully formed in the growing season preceding flowering. Pollen is carried by the wind. The fruits ripen in August-September, less often at the end of July. Fruit yield - 40-500 kg / ha. Harvest years alternate with lean years, in some years there are no fruits at all. Nuts have good germination, usually germinate next spring. Seedlings begin to bear fruit in 5-10 years. The total life span of the bush is 60-80 years. In nature, it reproduces mainly by vegetative means: by root suckers and pneumatic shoots.
Grows in the European part in coniferous-deciduous and broad-leaved forests, in the forest-steppe, in the steppe zone along wooded ravines. In the Caucasus, it rises to almost 2000 m. It is cultivated in a number of regions of the country. In deciduous forests, it grows in the undergrowth, but does not tolerate too much shade. It thrives on clearings, conflagrations, forest edges, and sometimes forms clean thickets in the place of cleared forests. Quite common in difficult woods.
Prefers calcareous, humus-rich, moderately moist loams and sandy loams. Due to the abundant leaf litter, rich in calcium salts, it increases soil fertility. In winters with prolonged severe frosts it freezes.
Application of hazel
Hazel kernels contain 58-71% fat, 14-18% well-digestible proteins, 2-5% sucrose, B and E vitamins, iron salts. The kernels are eaten raw, dried and fried (roasted), used for making cakes, sweets, creams, and various fillings. Especially a lot of sweets are prepared from them in the Caucasus. From fresh nuts, rubbing them with a small amount of water make "milk" and "cream", which have a high nutritional value and are recommended for weakened patients.
Toasted nuts are used to make a drink reminiscent of coffee. Nuts are used in the production of liqueurs. Nut oil has a pleasant taste and aroma, is very nutritious, is used in food, as well as in paint and varnish production, perfumery, and soap making. The cake remaining after pressing the oil is used for making halva.
Wood is used for small carpentry and turning crafts, hoops for wooden barrels, handles for agricultural implements, walking sticks are made from trunks; baskets are weaved from thin branches, hedges from thicker ones. The branches are harvested for livestock feed. Sawdust is used in the Caucasus to clarify wines and vinegar. Charcoal from wood is used for drawing, before it was used to prepare gunpowder.
Dry distillation from wood is used to obtain the medicinal liquid "Lesovaya", which was used for eczema and other skin diseases. The bark contains about 10% tannins and can be used for tanning and dyeing leather.
Other types of hazel are of less economic importance. Various-leaved hazel is widespread in Transbaikalia, Priamurye and Primorye. Forms thickets large in area, but its bushes are less productive than those of the previous species. Manchurian hazel and close to it short-tubular hazel, living in the Far East, are also used as food plants, but the collection of their fruits is very difficult because of the strongly bristly puffs.
In the Caucasus, tree-like hazel (bear nut) grows, which is a tree up to 35 m high. Durable, beautiful wood of this type is highly valued in the furniture industry. Nuts are used for food, but they have a fairly hard shell.
Hazel are shade-tolerant, but with strong shading they bear little fruit, the leaves lose their color. Better to plant them in a sunny and wind-protected place. Rich, fertile, drained, slightly podzolic, neutral soils are desirable. They do not like near groundwater, acidic, sandy, swampy, rocky soil.
The most preferable for planting are the eastern, northeastern, northern parts of low slopes - in winter and spring there are less fluctuations in daily temperatures, which reduces the risk of freezing and burns.
Hazel are winter-hardy, moisture and light-requiring. During flowering, male flowers do not freeze at -3 … -5 ° C, and female flowers - at -8 ° C. Pollen in catkins is not damaged in winter at -30 ° C.
For a more plentiful harvest, you need to plant several hazel trees nearby - they have cross-wind pollination.
The bush is formed into 6-10 trunks and is practically not cut off. You only need to remove broken branches and unnecessary growth. From the age of 20, old trunks are replaced with young shoots, cutting 2-3 annually. When hazel trees are formed in the form of a tree, one stem is selected and 4-5 skeletal branches are formed at a height of 50-60 cm. The root growth is removed. Varietal hazel gives 3-4 kg of fruit per bush.
Hazel seedlings are planted in spring or autumn, at a distance of 3-4 m from each other. Before planting, cut the broken roots and dip them in a clay or dung-clay mash. The root collar should be 3-4 cm above ground level.
It is advisable to add soil from under the old hazel bushes to the planting hole, since it contains the microflora necessary for the plant. After planting, the bush is watered and mulched with manure or peat.
For better survival in spring, the branches are cut at a height of 10-15 cm from the soil, leaving 3-5 buds.
Hazel is propagated by seeds, grafts, dividing the bush, layering, root suckers.
The easiest way in a garden is to divide the bush. 1-2 young trunks are chipped off with a sharp shovel along with the root system and a large clod of earth. When transplanting, incisions are made at a height of 10-15 cm from the ground in order to cause the appearance of a new growth and to achieve better survival of the bush. Parts of a plant with roots of more than 15 cm take root well.
When a large number of seedlings is required, and the plants give few root suckers, horizontal and arcuate layers are removed. In the spring, the twigs are folded back and placed in grooves 10-15 cm deep, pinned and covered with earth. The tops of these branches (at least 10 cm long) are raised above the ground and tied to pegs. After 1-2 years, the rooted layers are separated and transplanted to a permanent place.
During seed propagation, the characteristics of the mother plant are split and the varieties are not preserved. The time of fruiting is also postponed. For planting, ripe nuts that have fallen from the bush are chosen. They are sown in autumn to a depth of 7-8 cm, or in spring to a depth of 5-6 cm. When seed propagation, hazelnuts and hazelnuts enter the fruiting season only for 5-8 years. When vegetative for 3-4 years.
Varietal hazelnuts and hazelnuts can be propagated by grafting with a bud or cuttings on wild hazel and bear hazel. The best time for bud grafting (budding) in the middle lane is late July - early August, when the rootstock bark is easily separated from the wood. The buds (eyes) for grafting are taken from the lignified part of the shoots of the current year.
Before you start grafting and cut off the peephole from the shoot of the scion variety, the cutting is cleaned of pubescence. Inoculation with a graft is done in the following ways: cupulation, splitting, for the bark. Cuttings are harvested in the fall, although you can cut them off in the spring before bud break just before grafting.
Types of hazel
Common hazel (Corylus avellana)
It is a shrub up to 5 m tall, with a grayish bark, pubescent shoots, almost rounded leaves up to 12 cm long and 9 cm wide. Hazel earrings are laid in the fall, and their blooming and dusting, which occurs before the leaves appear, marks the beginning of spring. The fruits are usually clustered 2-5 together and are covered with a light green, leafy wrap consisting of two lobed leaves.
When ripe - in September - the nuts fall off and fall out of the wrapper. The nut is almost spherical, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, light brown. Hazel is widespread both in nature and in culture throughout the European part and in the Caucasus in the undergrowth of deciduous forests, especially oak.
Grows on soils containing lime, with good moisture. As already noted, nuts are healthy and tasty, they contain up to 65% fat, 16% protein, 3.5% sugar, vitamins. Halva, sweets, chocolate, butter similar to almond and used both for food and for making varnish and paints are made of them.
White with a light brown tint, heavy and hard hazel wood is flexible, bent products are made from it - furniture, hoops. It gives a good charcoal to draw pencils. Although hazel grows almost everywhere, its industrial plantings are found mainly in the south, where it is most productive. A common form with purple-red leaves.
Tree hazel (Corylus colurna)
The only treelike hazel growing in the Caucasus and Asia Minor, in broad-leaved forests, reaching a height of 20 m in nature, with straight trunks, gray bark with deep cracks, flaking plates. The leaves are round or broadly ovate, up to 12 cm long. Male flowers in earrings, female flowers are almost invisible, barely visible from the expanding buds.
Fruits in a velvety wrapper - a plyus, the edges of which are cut into narrow lobes. A nut with a hard, thick shell. Blossoms in April; fruits ripen in September. In culture, because of its thermophilicity, it almost does not go beyond the natural area, but it is found in the Baltic States.
Various-leaved hazel (Corylus heterophylla)
Shrub up to 3 m tall, grows in Eastern Siberia, the Far East, China, Korea, Japan in coniferous-deciduous forests at the edges, clearings. It differs from common hazel in truncated at the top or almost two-lobed leaves. Male flowers in earrings, female flowers are almost invisible, reddish, in buds. Blossoms in April; fruits ripen in August-September. The fruits are completely covered with a leafy wrapper, collected in 2-3 at the ends of the branches.
Bears fruit since 9 years. In culture, it can grow throughout the middle lane to St. Petersburg in the north. Propagated by sowing seeds in the spring after stratification or before winter. Presumably introduced into cultivation around 1880