Corylus colurna - Turkish Filbert
Family: Corylaceae

Hear the scientific name

Corylus colurna is a large shade tree noted for bold texture, pyramidal form, ornamental winter bark/stems/catkins, dense shade from dark green shiny foliage, and urban tolerance. Turkish Filbert is underutilized in modern landscapes. It's an excellent substitute for other pyramidally-shaped shade trees such as Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) or Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata).

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-large shade tree

-maturing at about 60' tall x 30' wide

-upright pyramidal growth habit

-medium growth rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-alternate, dense, shiny dark green, thick, and clean throughout the summer

-broadly ovate to broadly obovate, to 6" long x 5" wide, with a cordate base, an acute apex, and with margins doubly serrated and somewhat incised

-autumn color is yellowish green and ornamentally ineffective


-monoecious, with the prominently pendulous male catkins being quite obvious in winter, and swelling from 1-4" in length in Mar. and swaying in the breezes of early spring

-female flowers occur at the same time, but are very small and ornamentally inconspicuous


-0.5" diameter nuts occur in clusters and are covered with an incised husk-like whorl of bracts, maturing in early autumn and attracting squirrels

-cross-pollination between different trees is needed for good fruit set


-buds are pronounced on the stems, which are often fissured or corky by their second year of growth, with a bold texture on young branches

trunk Trunk

-the light brown, flaky outer bark is quite attractive when viewed up-close in winter, while the inner bark is slightly orange but often unnoticed

-trees maintain a strong central leader to maturity, with symmetrical branching that forms a broadly pyramidal outline

-some specimens are allowed to branch to the ground, but most trees are limbed up with maturity to yield a stately shade tree character

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun to partial sun

-very urban stress tolerant, including adaptability to heat, drought, pollution, poor soils, compacted soils, dry soils, and soils of various pH

-propagated primarily by seeds but also by rooted stem cuttings

-Birch Family, with virtually no disease or pest problems, except for occasional skeletonizing of the foliage by Japanese beetles

-moderately available in B&B form


-zones 4 to 7


-native to Turkey and Southeastern Europe

U   S   A   G   E


-very urban tolerant, especially to drought, poor soils, and alkaline pH soils

-large shade tree that casts a dense shade, having dense, dark green, attractive foliage

-ornamental bark, corky stems, pendulous catkins, and bold symmetrical pyramidal outline create attractive features in winter

-disease- and generally pest-free (except for Japanese beetle), with clean foliage


-poor autumn color

-turfgrass will thin or die out under mature trees due to dense shade

-if Japanese beetles are common in the area, they will enjoy munching on this tree


-shade, focal point, specimen, or winter accent tree


-bold texture in foliage and when bare (medium texture when in flower)

-thick density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-very urban tolerant shade trees (Acer x freemanii, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ginkgo biloba, Gleditsia triacanthos, etc.)

-large pyramidal trees that are deciduous (Alnus glutinosa, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus palustris, Taxodium distichum, Tilia cordata, etc.)

-large trees with winter character (Alnus glutinosa, Betula nigra, Betula papyrifera, Gymnocladus dioica, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Zelkova serrata, etc.)


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