Common Name – Hazel
Irish Name – crann coll
Latin Name – corylus avellana
Quote by Rosemary Sutcliff
And out of Tristan’s heart there grew a Hazel tree, and out of Iseult’s a honeysuckle, and they arched together and clung and intertwined so that they could never be separated anymore’
The Hazel tree is a native Irish tree, once believed to be the tree of knowledge. A Hazel tree has a smooth, grey-brown, bark, which peels with age, and bendy, hairy stems. It has large, mid-green leaves which are broad, almost round, with a serrated edge, and turn yellow in autumn. The leaf buds are oval, blunt and hairy. Hazel is one of the smallest native tree species, which grows more like a shrub than a tree, only growing to approximately 20 feet when mature. They can live for up to 80 years. Hazel trees provide nuts for squirrels and other rodents.
According to Celtic mythology a tree, in particular a Hazel tree, was the first creation on earth. The first Irish Hazel tree, which grew upon the Well of Wisdom, was said to have held all the knowledge of the universe within its branches. Ancient stories of Celtic lore tell tales of how the Hazel tree is associated with wisdom and inspiration. The sacred tree is said to be cloaked in a powerful magic which can imbue those who eat its fruit.