By: Teo Spengler
Contorted hazelnut, also called corkscrew hazelnut, is a shrub that doesn’t have many straight branches. It is known and loved for its twisting, spiral-like stems. But if you want to start pruning a corkscrew hazelnut, you can turn the one-of-a-kind specimen plant into a little tree. Read on for information on trimming corkscrew hazelnuts, including tips on how to prune a contorted hazelnut.
Contorted Hazelnut Pruning
Corkscrew hazelnut (Corylus avellana) is a shrub that is grown as an unusual ornamental. It is prized for its characteristically twisted stems and leaves. It also produces attractive yellow catkins. Leave the plant to mature with its natural growth habit for a unique specimen plant with completely twisted branches. If you want to grow one of these hazelnuts as a small tree, contorted hazelnut pruning is required.
Trimming Corkscrew Hazelnuts
If you are interested in trimming corkscrew hazelnuts, be sure to do so at the correct time. Pruning a corkscrew hazelnut is best accomplished in winter or early spring while the plant is dormant. Ideally, it should be just before new growth starts.
The only tool you need for contorted hazelnut pruning is garden pruners. You also might want to have a pair of garden gloves handy.
How to Prune a Contorted Hazelnut
If you are wondering how to prune a contorted hazelnut, it isn’t very difficult. The first step in trimming corkscrew hazelnuts is to remove about a third of the plant’s oldest stems. You can do this each year. Remove these stems by pruning them back to their parent branches. You should also prune inward growing stems back to outward facing buds.
When the goal for pruning a corkscrew hazelnut is to shape it into a small tree, remove the lower lateral stems. Ideally, this trimming should be done the second year after planting. As time passes, remove any branches that do not contribute to your vision of the plant.
During contorted hazelnut pruning, always check for suckers at the base of the shrub. Remove these suckers to prevent them from competing with the parent plant for soil nutrients and water.
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How To Bonsai A Corkscrew Hazel
The corkscrew hazel is also known as the contorted filbert. This plant is very popular with bonsai gardeners because of its unique spiraling branches. (See Reference 1) The plant sheds its leaves in winter and the spiraling branches have an appealing look, making it a bonsai gardener's delight. The twisting of the branches occurs due to virus that is naturally present in the tree. (See Reference 2) This virus does not cause harm to the tree.
So, how to bonsai a corkscrew hazel tree? The best part is that this plant can flourish indoors and outdoors, so that gives bonsai growers plenty of options, especially in the winter months. (See Reference 1) In addition, the tree is extremely hardy and can tolerate pruning which is what bonsai tree require when they are being trained. (See Reference 1)
To bonsai a corkscrew hazel tree, you should first decide where you want to grow the bonsai. This tree tolerates full sun and partial shade during summer. So, select the stop carefully when planting it. Make sure that you feed the tree every 2 weeks when the growing season occurs. And, when it comes to repotting, it should occur in early spring well the leaf buds blood and a basic soil mix can be used for repotting. (See Reference 2)
As the plant has new growth, it should be trimmed. This will prepare the plant for the autumn season and the cold winter months when you want to display it to your friends and neighbors. Hard pruning should only be considered during the month of March just before the new growth occurs. (See Reference 2) Use a wire to train the tree and practically all styles of bonsai look good on a corkscrew hazel other formal broom and literati styles. (See Reference 2) So, be carefully when styling the tree.
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If you are want to know how to bonsai a maple tree, then read on. Remember, maple can be styled in a formal or informal manner, depending on your taste. However, it is more common for bonsai gardeners to style the maple tree in an informal style. While it is hard work to bonsai a maple tree, the end result is satisfying and appealing. (See Reference 1) More..
How to Care for a Contorted Hazelnut Tree
The contorted hazelnut tree (Corylus avellana "Contorta") -- sometimes called Harry Lauder's walking stick for its gnarled appearance. This upright, 8- to 10-foot intricately twisting shrub brings yellow spring blooms and deciduous pale-green leaves to landscapes across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. The plant is at its best with winter sun backlighting its corkscrew limbs. Its problems include vulnerability to eastern filbert blight, aphids and leafrollers. Contorted hazelnut compensates for its lack of edible nuts by contributing those curiously bending twigs to floral designs.
Water a newly planted hazelnut to keep its soil consistently moist during the first year. After that, water it thoroughly whenever the top 3 inches of soil are dry. Light watering leads to shallow roots incapable of absorbing moisture in dry periods heavy watering develops roots deep enough to survive dry surface soil.
Fertilize trees 2 years or older with actual nitrogen, applied as urea. Feed at bud break, when half or more of the leaves have begun opening. Urea contains 46 percent actual nitrogen. A 2-year-old tree requires 2 ounces of actual nitrogen, or slightly more than 4 ounces of urea. Increase the ratio as the hazelnut grows. Plants 12 years or older need 24 to 32 ounces of actual nitrogen. Always apply the urea according to the manufacturer's specifications.
Remove dead, broken or diseased branches, cutting right above a healthy leaf node with sharp pruning shears or branch loppers. Remove twigs and branches that rub against each other. Their wounded bark invites insect and disease infestations thinning them also opens the tree's interior to more light.
Trim excess lower branches to create a treelike appearance showcasing the twisted upper growth. Remove new branches emerging from any interestingly shaped limb joints. Manually rub the growth eyes that produced the branches to prevent their resprouting and concealing the joints.
Pull root suckers as soon as they appear. As a cultivar, contorted hazelnut typically grows grafted onto rootstock from another Corylus variety. Root suckers won't develop twisting branches, and they'll rob the desirable ones of water and nutrients. Pulling them by hand gets more of the growth-eye tissue than cutting them.
Examine upper branches in early summer for the raised bumps of eastern filbert blight. They’ll eventually burst to reveal white fungal masses before turning black. Lop the infected branches back to 3 feet below the bumps and burn or bury them. After cutting, sterilize your pruning tools in a solution of one part household bleach to nine parts water.
Check the shrub for insects. Greenish-yellow, pearlike filbert aphids suck sap from new stems and leaves. Wash them off with a strong blast of water. Green, brown-headed green filbert leafroller and yellow, black-headed obliquebanded leafroller caterpillars feed on foliage woven shut with white webs. Remove and dispose of infested twigs, or pinch the leaves to crush the pests.