Long arching branches, basketry if coppiced, fencing, thatching, walking sticks.
Uses in Nature
Squirrels and mice love them! You can see whether a mouse or squirrel has eaten them by the shell left behind. A mouse nibbles it's way in whereas the squirrel will split the shell in two. Squirrels are great at re-seeding too as they can forget where they store them.
Edibility - always check with a qualified herbalist before eating or using!
The leaves can be infused to make a tea and the nuts are edible straight from the tree when the leaves start to turn yellow in the Autumn (unless you have a nit allergy)!
Medicinal & Other Uses
Haemorrhoids - Leaves and bark placed in the bath water, aaaah relief!
Circulation, diarrhoea, diuretic - tea infusion of leaves
Soap, cosmetics, coughs - nuts which are also full of protein (50% more than eggs)
Magic & Folklore
Wands - Hazel is great for helping the owner of a hazel wand with knowledge, intuition, creativity, divination and visions, and poetic skill.
Dowsing - Forked Hazel rods were also used for dowsing or finding water or treasure.
Invisibility - In the hands of a wizard a hazel walking stick could grant invisibility and protect against evil.
Romance - or not, as it was custom to present a piece of hazel to a lover if you wished to abandon them!
Wisdom - In Irish Folk lore it is the nuts which carry all wisdom, so eat up and pull down on your ear lobes - which is another way to acquire spiritual wisdom, hence the long ear lobed Buddhist images.
Faeries - To enlist the help of the plant faeries string hazelnuts on a cord and hang up in a room.
St John's Nut - two nuts naturally fused together were considered lucky and could also be thrown at bad witches!
Samhain/Hallowe'en - Throwing nuts in a open fire on this night is said to foretell future lovers and romance. The suitors would each throw a nut in the fire and watch how they reacted. A steady glow would foretell a cosy, harmonious communion, a popping, crackle would foretell a more fiery relationship. A single lady could also throw in a nut naming a potential suitor saying "If you love me pop and fly, if you hate me burn and die."
Salmon of Knowledge - In Celtic tradition, the Salmon of knowledge is said to eat the 9 nuts of poetic wisdom dropped into its sacred pool from the hazel tree growing beside it. Each nut eaten becomes a spot on its skin.
Inspiration charm - collect 9 hazelnuts (asking the tree spirit or Dryad for permission), then make a small bag and draw the Ogham symbol for hazel on the front. Light a candle and say a creativity charm every time you put a nut in the bag. Carry this with you whenever you wish to connect to the wisdom of Hazel. Use this or make one up;