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Even in ancient times, the fruits of hazel were used by humans for food. The cultivated form of this plant is now known as hazelnuts. And baskets are woven from flexible twigs of wild hazel.
- Hazel: description of the plant, geography of growth, soil preferences
- Types of hazel growing in Russia
- Hazel: breeding methods
Hazel: description of the plant, geography of growth, soil preferences
This shrub got its name for the unusual shape of large, heart-shaped at the base with a pointed tip of leaves, similar to bream. In this case, the upper part of the leaf is colored dark green, while the lower part is light green.
Common hazel belongs to the birch family, the genus hazel, which unites up to 20 plant species. Hazel (popularly: hazel) is a multi-stem shrub (less often a tree), growing from 3 to 10 m in height. This plant lives for about 80 years.
The branches of hazel are covered with brown bark with white patches. If the shoots are still young, then their bark is gray and the edge.
Male hazel flowers in the form of earrings are located on short branches, while female flowers are very similar to buds. The fruit of the plant is a brownish-yellow edible nut wrapped in a bell-shaped ply. Hazel grows in temperate latitudes of Europe, North America, East Asia.
In Russia, you can find up to 12 species of hazel, which is found in the European part, in the Caucasus and the Far East. Hazel prefers moist, fertile, humus-rich soil in mixed, deciduous forests, where this shrub forms thickets along forest ravines and on forest edges. Hazel does not tolerate waterlogging and high salt content.
Types of hazel growing in Russia
The genus of hazel combines about 20 species, but in Russian latitudes, common hazel is more common in its wild form. Less common hazel is large, Manchurian, tree-like, variegated. Common hazel. It grows in the steppes, forest-steppes and in the Caucasus (description of the plant in the previous chapter).
The hazel is large. Differs in tallness (up to 10 meters). The leaves are green or dark red, wide oval and serrated. Fruits are twisted in 3-6 pieces. The length of the fruit is up to 3 centimeters with a half-centimeter diameter. Large hazel grows in countries such as Italy, Asia Minor, the Balkans, Turkey.
Manchurian hazel. It grows on the edges, burned-out areas, undergrowth of coniferous and mixed forests of the Khabarovsk Territory and Primorye, as well as in the north of China and Korea. This hazel tree branches only in the upper crown and grows up to 5 meters high. In young shoots, you can observe a dense edge. The crown of Manchurian hazel is brown, sometimes with a shade of gray. The leaves are lobed-toothed, rounded with an edge on the inside.
Fruits are twisted 3-4 pieces into a narrow-cylindrical prickly wrapper. The fruits are spiky with a thin oblong shell. It is shade-tolerant, loves a little more moisture than other hazels, and is good at pruning and replanting. Propagated, like all hazel, by root suckers, seeds or by dividing the bush.
Treelike hazel. People call it "bear nut". This is the tallest variety of hazel, reaching a height of 30 meters. Treelike hazel is a tree with a slender trunk and a wide pyramidal crown. Some tree hazel trees are more than 200 years old. Growing countries: Balkans, Transcaucasia, Asia Minor.
Various-leaved hazel. It is a deciduous shrub with a spreading crown, growing up to 2 meters high. Likes to form thickets on the edges of mixed forests. The bark is brown, sometimes with a brownish-gray tint. In spring, the leaves turn reddish, in summer the color changes to dark green, and in autumn you can see brightly colored hazel leaves in orange and gold.
Round nuts up to one and a half centimeters in diameter, having a hard pubescent gray shell in a bell-shaped plyus, ripen in early September. The plant is hardy and drought tolerant. Loves nutritious loose soils, does not tolerate waterlogging and too dense soil. Propagated by rhizome growth, dividing the bush and seeds.
A cultivated species of hazel is hazelnut, it is also called hazelnut. Once upon a time, the fruits of large hazel were called that, but now, with the help of selection, hazelnuts come from common hazel, the most common in Russia. The main difference between hazel and hazelnuts is in size. Hazelnuts are four times larger than hazel. In addition, in taste and nutritional properties, the fruit of cultivated hazel also surpasses its wild relative.
Hazel: breeding methods
There are several ways to breed hazel. For example, such as seed and vegetative. Seed is used for growing seedlings for breeding purposes. Seedlings are often superior to the original variety in many respects. But it happens that the properties of the variety remain unchanged or even deteriorate. But if the growing conditions of the seedlings were difficult, then the plant acquires resistance to unfavorable factors.
Well-ripe nuts are prepared for sowing and sown immediately in September-October. Before spring sowing, it is necessary to carry out a four-month stratification of seeds at a temperature of + 5 ° C, but not more than + 10 ° C, while germination is best done in wet sand of a coarse texture or peat with the obligatory access of oxygen to the seeds.
Hazelnuts (hazelnuts) on video:
For spring sowing, seeds are planted at a depth of 5-6 cm, and for autumn sowing - at 7-8 cm. 50 selected nuts are planted per 1 meter of the prepared furrow. During the time required for the growing season, the soil is loosened about 5 times, then weeds are removed and, finally, watered. Seedlings are dug up after they have reached the age of two and have become at least 15 centimeters high.
The vegetative method is propagation by layering and rhizomes, dividing bushes, as well as grafting. Under the condition of reproduction by horizontal layers, the shoots are rooted without separating them from the bushes. To do this, in autumn or spring, annual, well-developed shoots are bent and attached to the bottom of the prepared groove, without sprinkling with earth. Soon the buds on the shoot sprout and give each one one vertical shoot.
In June, when the shoots reach 15 centimeters, they are huddled, while using the soil with humus, raising the soil by 2/3 of the plant's height. During the growing season, hilling is repeated about 3 more times, depending on the growth of vertical shoots. Then the entire horizontal cut is dug up and divided so that each cut is with a vertical shoot with roots.
Propagation by vertical layers
The shoots are spud up a couple of times during the growing season as it grows. When layering propagation, do not allow the soil to dry out, especially during dry periods. Bushes and their rhizomes grow in a circle. Rhizome growth is observed 3 years after planting the seedling.
In this case, up to 150 rhizome shoots are formed, which can be used for reproduction. Reproduction by dividing the bush. The plant is dug up, and then divided so that each of the parts has hemp about fifteen centimeters with roots. Fruiting with this method occurs at 3 or 4 years.
Reproduction by grafting. Hazel seedlings are taken as a stock. Graft cuttings in the spring for the bark, in the butt, or in the cleft. Best of all, such a vaccination takes root in the "bark" method. Hazelnuts, that is, nuts, are a whole storehouse of nut butter that is easy to digest. In addition, hazel nuts contain: up to 18% protein, about 3% mineral salts, as well as trace elements and vitamins.