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To want to keep our Hazel tree?

(20 Posts)
TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 16:51:29

We live in a new build property, although we've been here a few years. The developer supplied shrubbery in the front garden, including a small hazel tree. It was a couple of foot tall when we moved in.

PILs are OBSESSED with it. They mention it every time they visit. They say it's too close to the house, will get too big, and are adamant that a squirrel must have planted it because no sane developer would have put it in six foot from the house.

It was definitely planted on purpose, for one thing it was put in as a two foot high plant (we went one week to visit and it was all mud, the next week they'd laid turd and planted shrubs) and it goes with the rest of the shrubbery.

PILs are keen gardeners and know a lot about plants. We know very little. I love the tree, it's about six foot high now, or it was until yesterday when MIL pruned it. They've elicited a promise from us that we'll remove it before it destroys the house. But I don't want to.

AIBU? Are they right and it will destroy our foundations with its roots?

TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 16:52:09

Haha turd=turf obviously.

SunnySomer Mon 06-Jun-16 16:58:15

Could you move it to your back garden, or somewhere there's more space? We have one in the garden, probably planted about 10-15 years ago and it's currently about 15 feet high with about 12 feet spread. Not sure how this would affect the light into your house in the future? (To say nothing of the roots). My grandparents had a beautiful one which was about as tall as their house.... Your PILs probably have a point

TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 16:59:38

We could put it in the garden I suppose. I was really hoping someone would come along and say, oh no that's a miniature hazel, it's fine.


Captainladder Mon 06-Jun-16 17:06:08

Can't you just keep it trimmed down so it never grows too much? Our neighbours recently pruned down a massive hazel and its come back again but smaller.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 17:07:42

That's my plan. But PILs are insistent that the roots will keep growing and the house will fall down.

DoreenLethal Mon 06-Jun-16 17:08:13

Coppice it and you will get lots of lovely hazel each 3 years to either use as bean sticks or as fuel, and it will keep the height down.

Hassled Mon 06-Jun-16 17:10:35

Google tells me that:
"The National House-Building Council recommends "a distance equal to three-quarters of the mature height of the tree. However high water demand trees including elm, eucalyptus, oak, poplar, willow and some common cypress species, should be planted no closer to the home than one and-a-quarter times the mature height."

Hazels can reach 12 m (so should be 9 m from the house?) but that's presumably if you never prune it. I think as long as you keep it under control you'll be OK.

StayAChild Mon 06-Jun-16 17:13:55

From your pic, it looks like you have a lovely wooded area in front of you. It would be a shame to lose that view with your Hazel.

Just googled Hazel trees and it says they can grow up to 12 metres, shock of course that depends on which type it is.
I think I would remove it before it gets much bigger and the roots start to damage anything, and replace it with something with lots of interest and limited growth.

Bolshybookworm Mon 06-Jun-16 17:15:46

Another vote for coppicing it. Coppiced hazel is beautiful and it will be easier to control the height and spread. I think older houses are more prone to damage from tree roots as they don't have solid concrete foundations.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 17:16:25

Hmm. I certainly don't want a 12m tree in the front garden. Perhaps I'll let PILs move it to the back garden.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 17:17:39

If I coppice it regularly will the roots stop growing as well?

I just think that surely they wouldn't have put it in if it was going to be a problem, or is that being too generous to the developers?

Osmiornica Mon 06-Jun-16 17:55:12

Hazels grow more like bushes that proper trees - I had a lovely one in my old garden which I planted. Just keep it trimmed down and if you want it more tree shaped make sure to cut off the bottom off shoots and just keep one main trunk.

Hazel trees are fab - loads of lovely hazelnuts from them especially if it's a cobnut tree.

ThePinkOcelot Mon 06-Jun-16 18:03:59

I've got one on my back garden. I love it. It's been here since we bought the house 22 years ago. It isn't anywhere near 12 meters though we do prune it.

DoreenLethal Mon 06-Jun-16 18:07:40

It won't destroy your house. Esp if you coppice it.

A little knowledge and all that.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Mon 06-Jun-16 18:16:31

Excellent news. I will tell them the Internet has spoken.

StarryIllusion Mon 06-Jun-16 18:52:48

Its the roots I'd worry about. If I were you I would move it now while its still small enough to do so. Even just a few more metres away from the house.

DoreenLethal Mon 06-Jun-16 19:03:32

Its the roots I'd worry about.


StarryIllusion Mon 06-Jun-16 19:37:37

I'd worry about damage to the foundations with it being so close to the house. 6 feet is nothing really is it? We had to have holly bushes removed when we moved in as their roots were damaging the house foundations as they grew. Council had to remove them before they caused any structural damage.

Bolshybookworm Tue 07-Jun-16 08:58:24

There you go, the RHS has all the advice you need. The long and short of it is that if you're in a new build and your soil isn't clay then you don't need to worry. Hazels (corylus) are also low water demand so even if you're on clay it shouldn't cause an issue.

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