> Hardwoods > Betulaceae > Corylus > avellana

DATA SOURCE(S): 36,40,44

Hazelnut (Corylus avellana)

Common Name(s): Hazelnut, common hazel

Scientific Name: Corylus avellana

Distribution: Europe and Western Asia

Tree Size: 20-35 ft (6-10 m) tall,

                     4-8 in (10-20 cm) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 38.1 lbs/ft3 (610 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .61

Janka Hardness: 1090 lbf (4850 N)*

*Estimated hardness based on specific gravity.

Modulus of Rupture: 15660 lbf/in2 (108.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1566000 lbf/in2 (10.80 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7110 lbf/in2 (49.0 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.9%, Tangential: 10.4%,

                          Volumetric: 15.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.1

Color/Appearance: White to light brown. It’s unclear whether hazel is composed almost entirely of pale sapwood, or if the heartwood is simply equally as pale and thus indistinguishable.

Grain/Texture: Fine even texture and a straight grain. 

Rot Resistance: No data available. As the heartwood may not be distinguishable from the sapwood, it would be safest to assume hazelnut as perishable or non-durable in exterior applications.

Workability: Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, hazelnut has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Hazelnut is generally only a shrub or small tree, and is not considered a commercial timber species. Small/narrow sections may sometimes be available from local harvesting on a limited basis.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Narrow coppiced sections are generally used in-the-round for baskets or fences. 

Comments: Although hazelnut is much better known for its edible nuts, this species can sometimes also reach sizes that make it useable for lumber. One source remarks that hazel wood (C. colurna in particular) is “well grained and does not warp, and deserves to be better known…”[1]Gamble, J. S. (1881). A manual of Indian timbers: an account of the structure, growth, distribution, and qualities of Indian woods (p. 391). Office of the Superintendent of government printing.

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Identification: See the article on Hardwood Anatomy for definitions of endgrain features.

Hazelnut (endgrain 10x)
Hazelnut (endgrain 1x)

Porosity: diffuse porous; growth rings usually discernible due to decrease in pore frequency in latewood

Arrangement: radial multiples of two to four (or more) pores arranged in radial or diagonal pattern

Vessels: small to medium, moderately numerous to numerous

Parenchyma: generally not visible even under magnification

Rays: narrow, close spacing; regular rays not visible without magnification, though aggregate rays occur intermittently (similar to alder) and are quite conspicuous

Lookalikes/Substitutes: Being in the Betulaceae (birch) family, hazelnut can be confused with other diffuse porous hardwoods in the this family.  namely hornbeam, hophornbeam, alder, and birch.

Notes: None.

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1 Gamble, J. S. (1881). A manual of Indian timbers: an account of the structure, growth, distribution, and qualities of Indian woods (p. 391). Office of the Superintendent of government printing.
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