Corylus Avellana 'Contorta' Aka Harry Lauders Walking Stick Aka Corkscrew Hazel
An extremely unusual form of hazel, the Corkscrew Hazel (Corylus avellana 'Contorta'), also known as Harry Lauder's Walking Stick is notable for its strangely contorted or twisted branches and really makes for a spectacular display.
Considered slow growing so it will take its sweet time getting to the expected 5 metre height over 10-20 years. Can be left alone to twist and contort as a specimen tree or trained along a trellis. Due to the twisting nature of the tree, expect it to be a little naughty and grow where it wants to so you will need to keep an eye on it and tuck it back into your trellis work. Time outs, not allowing it to watch TV and stopping pocket money are all methods that are completely ineffective in training your tree.
Once Corylus Avellana 'Contorta' drops its leaves in Autumn, it will reveal its very interesting twisted shape. Considered fully UK winter hardy (unless we have no Jet stream from the USA whatsoever and we get temperatures less than minus 15 degree centigrade, you know how possessive those Americans can be). Just before Spring expect it to burst into life with catkins making a stunning appearance. These form into edible nuts.
Corylus Avellana 'Contorta' Aka Harry Lauders Walking Stick has so many outstanding properties that the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society not right hand side for those not in the know) have given it the AGM (Award of Garden Merit not Annual General Meeting....ah the joy of acronyms)
Be prepared to open the box and think your tree is poorly! Not quite your average sales pitch but this is perfectly normal and part of the charm of the tree. The whole tree including the leaves are contorted and twisted (maybe the clue was in the name!)
Fortunately, the Corylus Avellana 'Contorta' or corkscrew Hazel is tolerant of hard pruning any time of the year so you can be as much of an Edward Scissor Hands as you like and the Hazel will bounce back. If you prune that hard that you are left with just a stump, we may retract that statement. We know you can do this with normal Hazel trees but as you can see, the Corylus Avellana Contorta is not normal.
Plant in chalk, clay or shade, the Corkscrew hazel is not fussy and will give you good results.
One of the most interesting features of the Corylus Contorta is the twisting framework. Should we be out of stock then you might want to consider Salix Golden Curls or Robinia Twisty Babe as they have similar features. Clicking the link carries out a stock search in a new window, if nothing is showing in the results then we are out of stock or the guy that wrote this is having a bad day and didn't do it right.
Corylus Avellana 'Contorta' Origins
Apparently the tree was spotted in a Gloucestershire hedgerow in the early 1860's by a Victorian Gardener called Caon Ellacombe of Bitton. He then went on to propagate the tree which as of 2002 was still growing.
The Harry lauder reference comes from a famous Scottish comedian that carried a twisted walking stick.
Corylus Avellana 'Contorta Supplied Height
These trees are supplied at a height of between 1.25m to 2.0 m and in a 7-12 Litre container, which means that the tree can be planted any time of the year and with better results than either bare-root or rootballed trees. These measurements are based on average to poor weather so with a good season you could receive taller.
See What Our Customers Are Saying About Our Corylus Avellana
Hi Allan, Twisted Hazel arrived happy and is now planted. Hope to send you a photo soon, when bed has been weeded! Many thanks, Regards Sarah Lumsden, Aberdeenshire 0819
Good evening, Just to let you know, the Tree arrived safely this afternoon. Its very beautiful! thank you for all your help on this matter. Regards, Ben Martin 0816
Multiple Order Discount
Orders over £300 can be discounted by contacting us on 0800 043 1057
Ornamental Tree Roots In The Shade e.g. Behind A Fence
It is more important that that foliage (posh term for leaves) receives the sunlight than the roots. So if the canopy of your ornamental tree can sunbathe but the bottom of your tree thinks there has been a nuclear winter then that is ok. You might want to ensure you have good drainage as water and no sun is the start of algae and other such issues.
Do I Need To Stake My Ornamental Tree?
9 out of 10 times the answer will be no, especially if under 200cm tall. However our article on Tree Staking should help guide you.
UK Grown Ornamental TreesClimate Change
All our trees are banned from overseas travel so that we can state they are all UK grown. We have removed Internet access from the nursery so they cannot book any flights.
Warm and wet conditions from Climate Change have increased aesthetic foliage issues such as Powdery Mildew, Shothole, Rust etc These are not terminal issues and will usually last a season. All trees are inspected before being sent out to ensure they are fundamentally healthy.