QI have just moved back in with my mother and there is a lovely contorted hazel in the back garden. It is currently about 12 – 15ft high which is a little large for a small garden, when is the best time to prune it and how severe dare I be?
AI love contorted hazel – I have one in my garden, but I’ll admit that I don’t prune it much! I like to leave it as wild as possible.
But you can prune it. Do it in early spring so you don’t chop off the catkins. It probably won’t take kindly to hard pruning, so aim to cut it back over a few seasons.
Prune out any dead, diseased or damaged branches. It’s better to remove them that to chop halfway along.
Prune out any congested branches or those that are growing the wrong way too.
Mulch around the tree after pruning to put extra nutrients in the soil.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
I have 40yr old male Hazel which has never been coppiced, it’s a beautiful shape, but the past couple of years, hasn’t produced many catkins,,only right at the top of the tree,,is it worth coppicing or leaving it alone,,it’s under an oak tree and next to a leyland cypress.