Witch Hazel Tree: Benefits, Care, and Growing Guide
Witch hazel trees are excellent additions to any landscape. Not only can they provide year-round interest with their attractive foliage and fragrant flowers, but their branches can also be used to make a medicinal tea. Moreover, a witch hazel tree is very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of soil types and climates. In fact this is what makes them a great choice for home gardens. Additionally, they are also a great source of food and shelter for wildlife and attract a variety of birds and butterflies.
- What is witch hazel tree used for?
- How big do witch hazel trees get?
- How fast do witch hazel trees grow?
- Which variety should I grow?
- How can I plant and grow?
- How to prune a witch hazel tree?
- How to water?
What is witch hazel tree used for?
If you want a natural pharmacy in your backyard, then you can grow a witch hazel tree! In fact, people use the bark and leaves to make a natural astringent, liquid-based formula. This can be used to soothe skin irritations, reduce inflammation, and treat cuts and bruises. Moreover, witch hazel can also be used as an anti-inflammatory, to combat dandruff, and to reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
How big do witch hazel trees get?
Witch hazel trees typically grows to a height of 10–25 feet with a spread of 10–20 feet (depends on the variety). Moreover you can easily control the size and shape of this tree or shrub by pruning.
How fast do witch hazel trees grow?
Witch hazel trees typically grow at a moderate rate of 12 to 24 inches per year, depending on the variety and growing conditions. So in 5 years, they can reach heights of 5 to 10 feet.
Which variety should I grow?
There are several varieties of Witch Hazel trees, including the Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis), Japanese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis japonica), Ozark Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), and American Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana).
The best variety depends on your climate and desired characteristics. Chinese Witch Hazel is known for its fragrant yellow flowers and Japanese Witch Hazel for its larger flowers and colorful leaves.
What is the American Witch Hazel?
American Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a deciduous shrub native to North America. In fact, it grows up to 10 feet tall and has yellow, spidery blooms that appear in late fall or early winter when few other shrubs are in bloom. The flowers give off a sweet fragrance and produce a brown nut-like capsule that contains seeds. Because of it vibrant fall foliage and unique blooms, growers use it often for landscaping. Additionally, the leaves and bark are often used medicinally to treat skin conditions and muscle pain.
How can I plant and grow?
- 1. Choose a location in your garden with full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Witch hazel is a hardy shrub that can tolerate a wide range of conditions, but for best results, it should be planted in a spot that receives at least four hours of sunlight per day.
- 2. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball of the witch hazel and just as deep.
- 3. Place the root ball into the hole and fill it in with the soil you removed. Pat down the soil around the root ball to ensure good contact with the roots.
- 4. Water the soil around the witch hazel tree until it is damp, but not soggy.
- 5. Mulch around the base of the tree with an organic mulch material such as wood chips, bark, or leaves. The mulch will help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
- 6. Prune the tree to promote growth and shape it as desired.
- 7. Fertilize the tree with an organic fertilizer in the spring to encourage healthy growth.
- 8. Protect your tree from extreme cold temperatures by wrapping it in burlap or insulating it with hay.
How to prune a witch hazel tree?
- 1. First, prune your witch hazel tree in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.
- 2. Then, remove dead, diseased or broken branches by cutting them back to their point of origin. You can do this whenever you notice throughout the year.
- 3. Thin out congested areas of the tree by removing branches that are growing too close together.
- 4. Remove any suckers and water sprouts, which are branches that emerge from the base of the tree or the main trunk.
- 5. Prune back the long, upright branches by cutting them back to a side branch or leaving a few inches of growth.
- 6. Trim off any long, straggly branches.
- 7. Shape the tree by pruning the branches to give the tree an overall attractive appearance.
- 8. Finish off by removing any crossing branches.
How to water?
- Water your tree with a garden hose or a watering can.
- Water the tree deeply when you see the soil has dried out.
- Water the tree slowly and evenly all around the root zone.
- Avoid splashing the leaves with water, as this can cause fungal diseases.
- Let the soil dry out between waterings.
- Mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Provide supplemental water during periods of drought or dry weather.
Grow beautiful and much needed trees!
People love the witch hazel tree because of its beautiful, fragrant yellow flowers, its hardiness in all kinds of climates, and its ability to add a unique and alluring note to any landscape. The witch hazel tree also has many medicinal uses, from treating skin conditions to easing sore muscles.
My dad inspires me with his love for trees and his conviction that growing them is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and the ecosystem. That’s why he started to provide all types of unique trees so everyone could enjoy them accessibly and have the knowledge to grow them. Feel free to discover these trees by growing them yourself!