All About Witch-hazel:

Scientific Nomenclature: Hamamelis virginiana

Common Names: witch-hazel, witch hazel

Mature Height: 15–25 feet

Mature Spread: 15–20 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Attracts Wildlife: Pollinators, birds, moths and small mammals

Messiness: Witch-hazel blooms in late autumn dropping its flowers in late winter or spring. Fruit pods explosively open in autumn sending small seeds up to 30 feet from the tree.

Shape: Spreading, open, multi-stemmed

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Witch-hazel prefers well-drained clay soils with high organic matter content. Acidic (<6.0pH) soils are preferred.

Screening: Can be planted as a privacy hedge but not recommended.

Drought Tolerance: Though it does well against wildfire, it is drought intolerant.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous

Pruning: Witch-hazel does not require pruning when planted naturally in the landscape, but many prefer to prune it to help promote its horizontal growth pattern. If being pruned to shape, first remove any dead or damaged wood, then prune each branch back to healthy young growth while removing any crossing or weak branches. If pruning to reduce the size of the plant, prune back the prior season’s growth to only a few leaf buds and try to leave as many of the floral buds as possible.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one witch-hazel will: 

  • Sequester ~1,008 pounds of CO2. 
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 267 gallons.