A tree to bloom in winter

Hamamelis or witch hazel as is commonly known is one of the most wonderful small trees for the landscape. Many witch hazels are native to the Midwest. Along with Cornus Mas or Cornelian Cherry, the Hamamelis is one of the earliest flowering trees, often seen opening it’s golden filaments of flower while snow is still blanketing the ground.

In addition to the beauty of a burst of yellow flower is the subtle but heavenly aroma of the witch hazel’s bloom. This year my Hamamelis Intermedia ‘Moonlight’ was profuse with flowers and bewitching in fragrance from March through April. Many was the day walking up the sidewalk on a breezy day when the aroma drew me in with its alluring scent. In years past, with less harsh winters than the 2011 season, the blooms started in mid February.

In addition to the winter flower, the fall color of witch hazel is equally eye-catching. The golden yellow cast to the changing leaves is almost luminous.

Although it is too late to get the flowers for this year, consider planting a witch hazel now for next year’s harbinger of Spring.

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