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Hazel Hurdles

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Post by Adrian on 8th February 2011, 9:20 pm

I am considering starting to grow Hazel this year in order to coppice for hurdles etc - does anyone have any experience of doing this?

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Adrian
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Post by polgara on 8th February 2011, 9:22 pm

I have no experiance, but they do look nice, especially if they root.

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Post by Compostwoman on 8th February 2011, 10:51 pm

Waves...

What would you like to know Very Happy

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Post by Adrian on 8th February 2011, 11:12 pm

Well propagation to start with - you know that I'm a trained Horticulturist, so don't spare the jargon..

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Post by Compostwoman on 8th February 2011, 11:30 pm

Will compose a longer post and get back to you on this....too tired to think straight at the mo!

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Post by Adrian on 8th February 2011, 11:31 pm

Thanks lovely

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Post by bronze on 9th February 2011, 8:17 am

There was a lovely bit in home farmer about making hurdles. I don't need any but they're so pretty I want some

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Post by Mike on 9th February 2011, 7:33 pm

Don't know about your sort but our species (much smaller and not as tasty nuts) is awfully easy to grow. And again yours might be different but with ours you don't have to coppice them to get them to send up shoots. So can easly multiply by digging these offshoots as long as you make sure getting a bit of root with your "cutting".

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Post by Dandelion on 9th February 2011, 9:52 pm

I have been given some small hazel saplings by a friend whose partner is a woodsman. His advice was to plant the saplings close together to encourage more upright growth.

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Post by Compostwoman on 10th February 2011, 8:42 pm

OK, some useful info and some links to other sites of interest. I reccomend the Woodland TV site in particular!

The Hazel is a native of southern Britain and can also be found
throughout Europe, with related varieties existing in North America and a
tree hazel occurring in Asia Minor and the Balkans. It prefers a fairly
good soil with good drainage, on a warm site and thrives on chalk and
loam. As it is habitually a shrubby plant, hazel rarely appears as a true
tree. It is usually seen as a mass of slender poles rising from a
common base, or 'stool'. These poles are coppiced at roughly seven-year
intervals to provide the hurdle maker with the raw material for his
craft.


The bark is pale brown and the poles bear buds that open in April
to produce a broad leaf with serrated edges, ending in a point, which
turn yellow before falling in November. The flowers open early in
January and the pollen is spread by the wind, although both male and
female flowers appear on the same tree. The male catkins are long and of
a yellow-brown colour, whereas the female catkins resemble a leaf bud
with bright red stigmas projecting from the cluster of tiny flowers
within.


Once the flowers are fertilised, clusters of oval-shaped nuts known
as cobnuts begin to form. These nuts turn gradually from green to brown
in October, when they are harvested and eaten by man and other animals.


CoppicingTrees which are typically coppiced include Hazel, Hornbeam and
Chestnut, the last of which was brought to Britain from southern Europe
to be used for this purpose. Other trees used for coppice iinclude Ash, Maple, Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Hazel,
Birch, Willow, Rowan and occasionally Lime and Wild Service.

Coppice trees and shrubs are cut down close to the ground at regular
intervals, leaving a stump, or stool which sends up a number of shoots
or poles, which are known as coppice, underwood or just wood. Mature
stools can be between two and four metres across and can produce poles
of up to four metres in the first season after cutting.

The process of coppicing begins each winter, between the months of
November and March, by dividing the woodland into a number of coupes
or compartments. Once one or more coupes has been chosen to be
coppiced, the coppiced trunks of the trees are cut into lengths and
stacked in heaps. Traditionally each stack is known as a 'cord'
and the wood in the stack is known as 'cordwood'. Such a stack would
measure eight feet wide and four feet high made of four feet length's
and equate to one tonne of wood (stacked as opposed to a solid cube).

A coppice cycle of just a few years is needed in order to
produce the Hazel required for basket and hurdle making. A long coppice
cycle (15-20 years) can produce tree trunks 15 metres tall and 15-30 cm
thick, which will be more valuable than thinner trunks as they can be
used for a greater number of purposes. A shorter coppice cycle of 10-15
years will produce smaller trunks that can be used for furniture making,
fencing and firewood, and also increase the proportion of the stages in
the cycle that are most valuable for the wildlife.
A typical coupe measures one hectare and will take around 400 man
hours to coppice with only moderate use of a chain saw. If the coppicing
is to be done, it must create enough of an income to make it
worthwhile. There are several ways of making this happen. The cordwood
can be sold as firewood, it can be converted to charcoal and then sold,
or it can be turned by craftsmen into a range of woodcraft goods.
The material would be sorted as it was cut down into its various
grades from hazel rods for hurdles up to full length trunks for
furniture making and saw logs.

OK, some links to BTCV pages about Hazel

Growing hazel

Identifying hazel


Also a really good tutorial on making hurdles from Woodlands TV, loads of interesting and useful stuff on here!



The BTCV Woodlands book is good on hurdle making, used to be available free onlune but sadly you have to buy it now...Mike Abbot book also has some good stuff about hurdles...I will have a trawl through my various green woodworking books to see if I cna spot any other good descriptions.

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