Corylus avellana Contorta

This contorted hazel makes an interesting addition to the winter garden - its twisted branches are most apparent in winter, and are highlighted by the attractive yellow catkins which appear in February.

Contorta can grow to an eventual height of about 3m, but benefits from being pruned back periodically.

Contorta appears to be a natural sport of the native English hazel.

Contorta trees for sale

Height in 10 years
Price inc. VAT
2-year Contorta tree - in a 7L pot
2.5m-3.5m tall after 10 years
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What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. (Approx. girth: 6/8). Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years.

Corylus Ave Contorta hazel tree

Leaves may not be present during winter, and we may prune some shoots to fit the delivery carton. Size may vary during the season and between batches. The container (if supplied) is only used for transporting the tree, which should then be planted out in the garden or in a much larger patio planter (not all species are suitable for patio planting).

How to grow

Contorta will grow in most soils, including clay and chalk.

We supply this plant as a single-stemmed bush, but it will if left to its own devices it will throw out new shoots from the base of the tree. These can be pruned out if you wish to retain a single stem.

Contorta characteristics


  • Attractive features: Attractive tree / plant
  • Height 10 years: 2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
  • Growth rate: Average
  • Vigour: Average vigour
  • Sunlight: Tolerates shade
  • Hardiness rating (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
  • Pruning: Prune hard
  • Disease resistance: Good
  • Gardening skill: Average


  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Flowering month: February
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Leaf colour - young: Green
  • Annual cycle: Deciduous
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit


  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening

Similar varieties

  • Corylus avellana
    Red Majestic
    A red-leaved form of the contorted or twisted hazel.