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Contorted hazel overwhelmed by suckers

What I thought was just a large common hazel I have now realised was once a contorted hazel, but has been massively overtaken by suckers. It was pretty much like this when I acquired the garden too. There seems to be one large central twisted stem in the middle of the bush. If I cut back all the sucker stems, do you think it will be worth doing?

Many thanks!


  • nickoslesterosnickoslesteros Posts: 113
    edited 27 September
    Sorry, I meant corkscrew hazel. There seems to be lots of growth on the corkscrew stem to, and it's the largest of all the stems..
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,423
    Corkscrew hazel are always grafted, and the suckers come from the rootstock. Cut all the straight stems down as  low as you can get. The main stem can get massive, I have cut my corkscrew hazel down several times, the main stem is about 6 inch in diameter, I bought it in 1980 and it has moved house twice in fairly quick succession, but has been there now for over 30 years.  That might help you to age it.  Cut out all the straight stuff first, then stand back and look at it, then trim the curly stuff down to a size you want. It will soon bounce back.  You will need to keep an eye out for suckers and remove them as soon as they appear.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,863
    It really will be worth it … absolutely! 
    before and after pics please 🙏 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nickoslesterosnickoslesteros Posts: 113
    edited 28 September
    I woke up very early, saw @fidgetbones message, had a coffee and dug out the tools. So, I didn't see you @Dovefromabove regarding the photos. Though I have found one from earlier this year which has the Hazel in it - you won't struggle to spot it dead ahead in the photo!

    At first I thought it was a shame to lose a lot of big growth, but the garden looks all the better for it. 

    Now look at the pile I have to dispose !  :smiley:

    Tree looks a lot better now. It's not huge, but hopefully it will have the space to grow now. 


    Many many thanks again. Can't believe how much I am learning!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,863
    edited 28 September
    😎 Mulch with leaf mould or garden compost or similar and plant some Cyclamen coum or hederifolium, snowdrops and native primroses around it … you’ll be so glad that you did … especially when you see those catkins dancing in the corkscrew branches 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,423
    Straight hazel sticks are good for growing peas up, otherwise put them through a shredder and put on the compost heap.  What a good sized garden. If you haven't got a shredder and compost heap, that is next on the agenda. Mixed up with grass clippings shredding from those shrubs will give you a good mulch material once you have let it heat up and shrink down in size.
  • @Dovefromabove great idea. There is a load of spreading Spurge to the right, but I think something a little more colourful would be good. Looking now..

    @fidgetbones Right now I wish it was half the size, but I think it will be worth it. I think at the start I had no idea how much I didn't know. At least I now have a better idea how much I don't know now!   :D

    Re compose heap - I have one of those black compose bins, but I feel I need something a lot bigger.  There is a dark spot at the end of the garden under the trees I could probably build something larger. Shredder. What a great idea. I could have used that the past few months. Might pop it on my Christmas list :)

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,423
    Have a look on gumtree or ebay. Put in Garden shredder. I use a bosch with a spiral in to chunk long straight stuff, but I also have an Alko impact shredder, , I picked up locally for £30.  People buy a shredder for one  big job then often get rid.   That is better for fine stuff and it rots down quicker. I have been cutting the beech hedges this week, and put thicker stuff through the bosch, then put  the chunks and  the fine stuff  through the Alko. Mixed up with grass cuttings it heats up rapidly to 50C in the plastic dalek type compost bins.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,261
    @nickoslester93f3fKIn Beautiful that has made such a difference to your lovely garden. It has completley opened up the space. You will need to repeat each year but you won't be removing anything like the pile you have sitting on your lawn.
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • @fidgetbones Found a shredder on gumtree. Picking up tonight! :)

    @GardenerSuze  Thanks! I can't believe how I didn't notice that happening over the years I have been here. Still it's only now I've had the time to get into it!

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