Hazel is a tough nut
Hazel, or hazel among many nations is surrounded by a huge number of legends, traditions and superstitions. So the Slavs attributed hazel to sacred and pure plants, it was believed that lightning did not strike into it. Therefore, during a thunderstorm, they hid under a hazel and plugged its branches in a belt and touched them with everything they wanted to protect from lightning.
Legends of Hazel
It was believed that the 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 expel mice. According to the legends of the southern Slavs, the souls of ancestors who are visiting the earth at this time settle on the Trinity in hazel. On its branches, souls come from the other world and on them come back.
Hazel (hazel) was attributed the property of detecting hidden objects. And white hazel wands in pagan times served as a symbol for the Druids, certifying their class and ability to be a speaker.
In the days of the Vikings, ‘the hoslur’, the "hazel field," where pre-agreed battles were fought, was stained with hazel stakes. Both the venues for fights (holmganga) and the fields of official full-scale battles between the armies were designated by a picket fence made of hazel, which encircled them with a magical line, separating everyday life from the world. In war, hazel was used as a magical defense.
One ancient Irish legend tells of an "old hazel dropping drops." According to legend, this magic tree exuded poison, and when McCumhill made a shield out of it, the poisonous gases entering from it killed the enemies.
There is also the ancient expression "shield of Fiona" - a poetic metaphor for magical protection. It is associated with the so-called luaithrindi - a kind of interwoven patterns on the clothes of the Celtic warriors, which created a complete illusion of knotted knots.
Description of hazel
Hazel, or Hazel (Corylus) - a genus of shrubs (rarely 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 - as the body of a bream fish. Form undergrowth in deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests.
Flowers are unisexual, monoecious. Male - collected by dense catkins, located on short branches, develop in the fall, overwinter and bloom in early spring before the leaves appear. Female flowers are collected by inflorescences in the form of buds and sit two in the bosoms of the bracts. Each female flower has a very poorly developed perianth. The ovary is lower, two-membered, with one testicle (ovule) in each nest.
Due to the underdevelopment of one testicle, the fetus turns out to be a single seed with a woody pericarp - a nut. Each nut is surrounded by a tubular notched cover, the so-called plus, originating from the bract and two bracts (prelists) of the female flower. Protein-free seed with thick, oil-rich cotyledons that remain in the ground during seed germination.
Hazel blossoms in March. Inflorescences are fully formed in the pre-flowering growing season. Pollen is carried by the wind. The fruits ripen in August-September, less often - at the end of July. The fruit yield is 40-500 kg / ha. Harvest years alternate with low-yielding, in some years there are no fruits at all. Nuts have good germination; next spring, as a rule, they germinate. Seedlings begin to bear fruit for 5-10 years. The total lifespan of the bush is 60-80 years. In nature, it propagates mainly by the vegetative way: by root offspring and perennial shoots.
It grows in the European part in coniferous-deciduous and broad-leaved forests, in the forest-steppe, in the steppe zone along afforested ravines. In the Caucasus it rises to almost 2000 m. It is cultivated in several regions of the country. In broad-leaved forests, it grows in the undergrowth, but does not tolerate too much shading. It grows luxuriantly in clearings, conflagrations, and fringes; sometimes it forms pure thickets in place of reduced forests. Pretty common in complex burs.
Prefers calcareous, rich in humus, moderately moist loam and sandy loam. Due to the abundant litter of leaves rich in calcium salts, it increases soil fertility. In winters with long severe frosts it freezes.
Hazelnut kernels contain 58-71% fat, 14-18% well-digestible proteins, 2-5% sucrose, vitamins B and E, and iron salts. The kernels are eaten raw, dried and fried (red hot), used to make cakes, sweets, creams, and various fillings. Especially a lot of sweets are prepared in the Caucasus. From fresh nuts, rubbing them with a small amount of water makes "milk" and "cream", which are highly nutritious and recommended for weakened patients.
A toasted coffee-like drink is made from toasted nuts. Nuts are used in the production of liquors. Oil from nuts has a pleasant taste and aroma, is very nutritious, is used in food, as well as in paint and varnish and perfumery, soap making. The cake remaining after squeezing the oil is used to make halva.
Wood is used for small carpentry and turning crafts, from the trunks they make hoops for wooden barrels, handles for agricultural implements, canes; baskets are woven from thin branches, hedges from thicker ones. Branches are harvested for livestock feed. Sawdust is used in the Caucasus to lighten wines and vinegar. Coal from wood is used for drawing, before he went to make gunpowder.
Dry distillation from wood gives the healing fluid "Forest", which was used for eczema and other skin diseases. The bark contains about 10% tannins; it can be used for tanning and coloring the skin.
Other types of hazel are of less economic importance. Variegated hazel is widely distributed in Transbaikalia, Amur Region and Primorye. It forms thickets in area, but its bushes are less productive than in the previous species. Manchurian hazel and short-tubular hazel close to it, living in the Far East, are also used as food plants, but the collection of their fruits is very difficult due to the very bristly pluses.
In the Caucasus, a tree filbert (bear nut) grows, which is a tree up to 35 m tall. Strong beautiful wood of this kind is highly appreciated in furniture production. Nuts are used as food, but they have a fairly hard shell.
Hazel shades are hardy, but with strong shading they bear little fruit, the leaves lose their color. Rich, fertile, drained, slightly podzolic, neutral soils are desirable. They do not like nearby groundwater, acidic, sandy, swampy, rocky soil.
The eastern, northeastern, northern parts of the low slopes are most preferable for planting - in winter and spring there are smaller fluctuations in daily temperatures, which reduces the risk of freezing and burns.
Hazel trees are winter-hardy, moisture- and photophilous. During flowering, male flowers do not freeze at -3 ... -5 ° C, and female flowers at -8 ° C. Pollen in catkins in winter is not damaged at -30 ° C.
For a more abundant harvest, several hazel trees need to be planted nearby - they have cross wind pollination.
The bush is formed in 6-10 trunks and is practically not cut. You need to remove only broken branches and unnecessary shoots. From the age of 20, old trunks are replaced with young shoots, trimming 2-3 annually. When forming hazel in the form of a tree, one trunk is selected and 4-5 skeletal branches are formed at a height of 50-60 cm. Basal shoots are removed. Varietal hazel gives 3-4 kg of fruit from the bush.
Hazel seedlings are planted in spring or autumn, at a distance of 3-4 m from each other. Before planting, the broken roots are cut and dipped into a clay or dung-clay mash. The root neck should be 3-4 cm above ground level.
It is advisable to add soil from under the old hazel bushes to the planting pit, as it contains the microflora necessary for the plant. After planting, water the bush and mulch it with manure or peat.
For better survival in the spring, the branches are cut at a height of 10-15 cm from the soil, leaving 3-5 buds.
Hazel is propagated by seeds, vaccinations, dividing the bush, layering, root offspring.
The easiest way in a garden is to divide the bush. With a sharp shovel, 1-2 young stems are chipped together with the root system and a large lump 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 shoot and to achieve better engraftment of the bush. Parts of the plant with roots more than 15 cm take root well.
When a large number of seedlings is required, and the plants give few root offspring, horizontal and arcuate branches are removed. In spring, twigs are bent and laid in grooves with a depth of 10-15 cm, pinned and covered with earth. The tops of these branches (at least 10 cm long) are lifted above the ground and tied to pegs. After 1-2 years, rooted cuttings are separated and transplanted to a permanent place.
With seed propagation, the signs of the mother plant are split and the varieties are not preserved. Fruiting time is also delayed. For planting, choose mature nuts fallen from the bush. They are sown in autumn to a depth of 7-8 cm, or in spring to a depth of 5-6 cm. With seed propagation, hazelnuts and hazel trees enter the fruiting season only for 5-8 years. When vegetative for 3-4 years.
Varietal hazelnuts and hazel can be propagated by inoculation with a kidney or cuttings on wild hazel and bear hazel. The best term for kidney vaccination (budding) in the middle lane is the end of July - early August, when the rootstock bark is easily separated from wood. Kidneys (eyes) for vaccination are taken from the lignified part of the shoots of the current year.
Before starting vaccination and cutting the eye from the shoot of the graft variety, the stalk is cleaned of pubescence. Vaccination with the cuttings is done in the following ways: cupulation, splitting, over the bark. Cuttings are harvested in the fall, although you can cut them in the spring before buds open before vaccination.
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. Fruits are usually clustered 2-5 together and covered with a light green, leafy wrapper consisting of two lobed leaves.
When ripening - in September - the nuts fall 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 broad-leaved forests, especially oak.
It 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. They make halva, sweets, chocolate, butter, similar to almond and used both for food and for the preparation of varnish and paints.
The hazelwood, white with a light brown tinge, is hard and hard, characterized by its flexibility; bent products are made from it - furniture, hoops. She gives good charcoal going to drawing pencils. Although hazel grows almost universally, its industrial plantings are mainly in the south, where it is most harvested. A form with purple-red leaves is common.
Tree filbert (Corylus colurna)
The only hazel tree growing in the Caucasus and Asia Minor, in deciduous forests, reaching a height of 20 m in nature, with straight trunks, gray bark with deep cracks, peeling plates. Leaves are rounded or broadly ovate, up to 12 cm long. Male flowers in earrings, female flowers are almost invisible, barely visible from the opening buds.
Fruits in a velvety wrapper - a plush, the edges of which are cut into narrow lobes. Walnut with hard thick shell. It blooms in April, the fruits ripen in September. In culture, because of its heat of love, it almost does not go beyond the limits of its natural range, but it is found in the Baltic states.
Hazelnuts (Corylus heterophylla)
Shrub up to 3 m tall, grows in Eastern Siberia, the Far East, China, Korea, Japan in coniferous-deciduous forests on the edges, clearings. It differs from common hazel with truncated at the apex or almost bilobate leaves. Male flowers in earrings, female flowers are almost invisible, reddish, in the buds. It blooms in April, the fruits ripen in August-September. Fruits are completely covered with leaf wrap, 2-3 are collected at the ends of the branches.
Fruits in 9 years. The culture 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 the culture around 1880