We have a beautiful, huge, old, Turkish Hazel (or Turkish Filbert) tree in our yard. It has begun to drop the Hazel Nuts (below) and the squirrels and crows have been feeding regularly. I’ve also seen passersby come and grab some, especially the Asian diplomats here in Dedinje.
The hazel nuts are found in sticky involucre and the four nuts are hard to get out. I’ve seen a few stuck inside but the shell broken and the nut removed. We have quite a few squirrels in the neighborhood and the kids enjoy watching them jump from tree to tree.
The Turkish Hazel is related to the commercial Hazlenut Tree, although these nuts are too small to be commercially viable. The tree is native to the Balkans, Turkey, and all the way to Iran. Turkey is the world leader in commercial hazelnuts. The Turkish Hazel is a great tree to cities because it is tough, and tolerant to pollution and dry/cold conditions. This is an interesting blog post from Berlin. I am glad to have such a big tree in our yard that attracts squirrels.