Also known as the Eastern Hazel or American Hazel.
Family: Betulaceae [birch], part of the fagoid group [with oaks].
Form: large shrub (10-15 ft tall), suckering to make dense thickets.
Range: eastern North America; widespread in Kentucky but local.
Habitat: thin woods, edges, brushy old fields, and formerly in the "barrens"; on average soils, but much less frequent at fertile or infertile extremes; moderately tolerant of droughts and dampness.
Consumers: nuts potentially gathered by humans around settle-ments, but rapidly and thoroughly taken by squirrels or other animals in early fall, usually preventing regeneration; leaves are bitter with tannins and browsing-resistant; few pest or disease problems.
Growing notes: suckered stems can be transplanted in winter, but seed is almost impossible to gather without caging; hazel has much potential for native landscaping and restoration, but it is rarely used.