Hazel tree

The hazel tree in Lincoln's
Inn fields.
Click picture to see the tree
in foliage.

below: what we call hazelnuts,
but which really are the seeds
of the nut.


Trees of London
Lincoln's Inn Fields


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              The hazel tree is not a common tree in London; in fact it is quite rare. However it is significant for two reasons, the first is that it is one of the native trees. The second is that it has an important place in British history, for this was the tree most commonly used as a fuel for fires during the middle ages. The tree at this location looks as though it has, in the passed, been coppiced, though not for some time. Coppicing is the practice where trees are cut back right down to their stump, almost, to allow them to sprout shoots which then are allowed to grow for a few years before they are cut down to be used as fire wood. This, apparently, is the fastest and most efficient means of obtaining a regular supply of fuel. Paradoxically, it has been shown that rather than decreasing the life of the tree, as would be expected, this practice increases its life. Chopping bits off, it appears, has rejuvenating powers for trees, though it is not recommend this be extended to humans.
            It is easy to confuse the hazel with the elm if you look at the leaves only, and because the elm is also rare, the leaf might strike you as of an unusual make up. They are round but come in at a more acute angle, before the two sides meet they become markedly pointed. The ribs of the leaf do not meet in the middle. The feature which stands out in the winter are its catkins (see tree identification section) which are not unlike those of the alder. The hazel has a lighter and smother bark though.

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Other Trees at Lincoln's Inn fields

Judas tree      silver maple      Indian bean

birch     laburnum      oak

Lincoln's Inn fields

Tree Identification

Corylus avellana:

alternate; veins: alternate; round to heart shaped; craggy rim.

Hazel leaf
Hazel nutsnuts/fruit:
edible seeds grow in clusters; seeds are just visible on nut.
Hazel catkinsFlowers:
hazel bark bark:
smooth, grey brown, shiny.
grows to 6 metres; several shoots; shrub like
general: one of the native trees.

There is a group of four trees to the left
of the entrance closest to the John Soane Museum.
This is the first one.
yellow: John Soane's museum.
orange: hazel tree.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©