Common hazel (Corylus avellana) is one of the first of our trees to flower in very early Spring. In time with nature, while their pendent ‘lambs tail’ catkins are emerging, so is a drawing of a hazel tree for The New Sylva.Hazel (Corylus avellana) drawing in progress by Sarah Simblet for The New Sylva. Click to enlarge
Sarah has been working on a drawing on an enormous hazel tree. The specimen grows deep in the woodland at Blenheim Palace under the spreading crowns of ancient oak trees. No one knows how old it is but it has countless stems, which together give it a bundled girth measuring some 1.5m by 2.5m.
The drawing will fill an entire spread of the book, which alongside drawings of some botanical parts, will illustrate the section on hazel. This will be one of 44 species groups, covering over 100 tree species, included in the book.