Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Suckers or Water Shoots on Corylus avellana contorta

 

This lovely Corkscrew Hazel (Twisted Hazel), also known as Harry Lauder's walking stick has been reacting to last winter's tough exposure. Suckers (or water shoots) are appearing from the root zone beneath.  This proves this specimen has a grafted rootstock. Some Corkscrew Hazel are in fact grown with their own rootstock. Others not.

Here you can tell the growth is unlike the contorted leaves and stems of the cultivar planted.
These are called suckers.

Remove these suckers as close to the base as possible. Even dig out some of the soil (but be sure not to damage the crown further) and cut as close to the sprouted area as possible.
A comparison of both. Lighter, green leaves and straight stems for the suckers, and crinkly, twisted stems for the Corkscrew Hazel.

If you leave these suckers, they will eventually take over and choke the contorted growth. These twisted cultivars are grafted on a regular Filbert/Hazel rootstock. Thankfully the grafted specimens are available. This gives us in Ontario and colder climates a chance to grow them - the grafted rootstock gives the plant vigor when establishing.  Would be a waste to see the common Corylus hazel take over this ideal spot next to the pond.

I think the Koi approve!

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