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Lawn & Garden

Contorted Filbert, Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Common Name: Corkscrew Hazel, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

Type: shrub

Family: Betulaceae

Zone: 4 to 8     Find Your Zone

Height: 6 to 8 feet

Width: 6 to 8 feet

Bloom Time: September

Bloom Color: yellowish brown catkins of 3

Sun exposure: full to partial sun

Soil: well drained

Leaves: deciduous

Fertilizer: Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen

Pruning: May through July

Contorted Filbert makes for an incredible specimen plant and will become the conversation piece with anyone who walks by it. Its catkins form when the plant drops its leaves in the fall, therefore standing out well among its twisted limbs.


This plant will get root suckers that will need to be pruned, as they will not display the contorted, twisted branches of the parent. This plant is more common out west and subject to Eastern Filbert blight out west.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type.
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.

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Posted 2015-09-03T18:49:50+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL