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Red-leaved hazel shrubs are renowned for their fruit and ornamental benefits. Wild plants blend harmoniously into any landscape and, if properly cared for, produce nuts with high palatability.
General information about the plant
Red-leaved hazelnut is a spreading bushes with large branches and thickened foliage. Hazel trees are often planted by gardeners as a hedge. The plant belongs to the category of bisexual, the inflorescences are formed in early spring before the foliage grows. In the process of development, ovaries of fruits are obtained from the inflorescences, which acquire a dark brown hue in late summer - early autumn. Nut shell color is the main indicator of ripeness.
Main positive and negative aspects
Growing hazelnuts has a number of advantages. Gardeners highlight the following positive aspects:
- Due to the spherical shape and red color of the foliage, the plants are used as a decorative element in the landscape design of the site.
- Hazel fruits have nutritious and beneficial properties. Nuts contain a large amount of protein and other trace elements.
- Hazel plants are unpretentious to care for and are resistant to strong temperature extremes.
The main disadvantage of horticultural culture is the poor development of roots during reproduction. With insufficient soil fertility or unfavorable environmental conditions, the reproduction of hazel can be difficult.
Growing red-leaved hazel
Planting a hazel at a summer cottage requires an integrated approach. In order for the plants to take root well and continue their active development, it is necessary to first prepare the planting material, observe the terms and technologies of planting.
When to plant
Shrubs can be planted in open soil in the spring, before the start of sap flow, or in the fall. In the case of autumn planting of hazel, plants should be planted 3-4 weeks before the onset of the first frost, so that they have time to take root and adapt to new conditions.
The choice of planting material
For cultivation, it is recommended to pick up several hazelnut seedlings that differ in the ripening period. Thus, the plants will pollinate each other well. Hazel seedlings should have a small number of leaf blades and a developed rhizome. Suitable root length - at least 30 cm.
When choosing a hazelnut seedling, it is important to make sure that more than 3 shoots have formed on it. It is also necessary to inspect the plants and make sure there are no damage or signs of decay.
Before planting, hazel seedlings are pruned to 30-35 cm. Plant roots are soaked in a growth stimulator. Preparing a place for placing seedlings on the site consists in digging a hole 60 x 60 cm in size and applying top dressing. To saturate hazel seedlings with nutritious components, a mixture of the following substances is suitable:
- potassium salt.
In the central part of the planting holes, a hill of earth is poured in order to root hazel seedlings. The roots soaked in a growth stimulator are straightened to the sides and carefully laid out in a pit. The shoots are fixed in an upright position by tying them to pegs that are attached inside the hole. Then the roots are sprinkled with loosened earth and the top layer is slightly compacted. The root collar of hazel is placed 5 cm above the ground.
Subtleties of crop care
All varieties of hazel, including the common hazel Purpurea, need regular maintenance. Despite the unpretentiousness of the plants, the development of shrubs, the abundance of fruiting and the taste characteristics of hazelnuts depend on proper care.
Red-leaved hazel loves moist soil, but excess liquid can lead to root destruction. Immediately after planting, hazel bushes are watered with 2-3 buckets of water, after which the near-stem area is covered with a layer of mulch from coniferous branches or sawdust.
A week later, re-watering is performed. It is important to control that the water from the previous irrigation is completely absorbed into the soil. Avoid stagnation of liquid near hazel shoots, excessive moisture in the lower layers of the earth.
In the summer, it is enough to water 2-3 times a month. The average consumption of liquid per one hazel bush is 10 liters. When fruit is actively forming, the roots should be constantly in a moderately moist state.
Organic fertilizing is recommended to be applied to the soil every 3-4 years. For this purpose, compost and humus are used. Complex mineral fertilizers are used annually. On the eve of fruiting, the soil is fertilized with a urea solution, and at the beginning of summer, nitrogen fertilization is carried out.
Hazel care during flowering
Loosening of the soil is an important stage of care at the time of flowering hazel. The procedure should be carried out after each watering so that a sufficient amount of oxygen can penetrate to the roots located in the lower layers of the earth. Also, during the formation of inflorescences, preventive treatment of plants from diseases and insects will have a beneficial effect.
Young hazel seedlings up to 4 years old must be sheltered from frost for the entire winter period using agrofibre, plastic wrap or other dense material. Tall shoots of hazel can be bent to the ground and fixed with twigs or metal brackets, and covered with spruce branches from above.
Shrubs over 4 years old, as well as varieties with increased winter hardiness, tolerate frost well without shelter.
Pruning of red-leaved hazel is performed in late autumn, after the foliage has fallen. In the process of formation, damaged branches are removed and thickened places are thinned out. Shrubs form, starting from the center of the crown. Thanks to pruning, the sun's rays penetrate to undeveloped shoots, which has a positive effect on fruiting.
Plant pests and diseases
Unfavorable environmental conditions or improper care lead to disease and insect damage. Protective sprays are required to protect the hazel.
Insects that pose a danger to hazel have characteristic external signs. To take the right measures, it is necessary to determine the type of pest in a timely manner by reading the description.
Due to its small size, it is almost impossible to notice a kidney mite on hazel. The defeat of the hazel by this pest is characterized by swelling and enlargement of the buds, which cannot form shoots and leaves.
Weevils are brown beetles with an oblong proboscis. Insect females lay eggs in immature fruits. The hatched caterpillars feed on the pulp of nuts.
Walnut (hazelnut) barbel
Hazelnut barbel is able to penetrate into the core of the bush and eat it from the inside. The peculiarity of the pest complicates the process of dealing with it.
Nut leaf beetle
This pest settles on hazel foliage and gradually gnaws through it. Due to the invasion of the leaf beetle, you can lose up to half of the crop.
Among the many diseases, hazel often suffers from fungal infections. Pathogenic microorganisms are especially active in wet and cool weather.
A pronounced sign of the disease is a white bloom on the foliage. In the absence of a fight, the leaves turn black and die over time.
Rust infestation leads to the formation of dark spots on the leaves. The disease provokes drying out of foliage and a reduction in yield.
The disease spreads from leaves to fruits and stems. To protect the hazel, the infected parts have to be destroyed.
The procedure for reproduction of shrubs allows you to increase their number on the site. There are several ways to reproduce.
When planning the reproduction of shrubs, processing should be carried out. Plantings are sprayed with a disinfecting solution, as well as drugs against pests and diseases for preventive purposes.
For reproduction by layering, young shoots of purple hazel are used. The cuttings are tilted to the soil and placed in a ditch built next to the mother bush. The end of the shoot is fixed and covered with earth so that it forms its own shoots.
The use of seed is the longest and most laborious option. For planting, choose the strongest nuts and germinate them in a separate container. The grown seedlings are transferred to the ground and looked after according to the basic scheme.
By dividing the bush
To divide the shrubs, it is necessary to dig up a young, mature plant and divide it into several trunks up to 30 cm long with roots. The trunks are planted in separate holes and rooted.
Having taken healthy and strong cuttings from two-year-old shrubs, it is necessary to place them in containers with a mixture of peat and sand. Thanks to constant watering of the soil, the shoots will begin to take root.
Decorative properties of hazel
Due to the bright color of the foliage, Purpurea hazel is often used to decorate summer cottages. Hazel trees look harmoniously in the landscape when placed separately or when creating a hedge.
Red-leaved hazelnuts begin to bear fruit after 4 years of development. Nuts ripen not earlier than the end of summer. Ripe specimens darken noticeably and slightly detach from the branches. It is recommended to dry the harvested fruits in the open air and store in canvas bags.