A small tree in my yard has leaves which appears to double over themselves. The first two pictures show this phenomena, and the third is the same tree to maybe aid identification.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

I can't absolutely guarantee when this first appeared, but I believe it was this growing season, and I know it's been there at least a month (unless it's reoccurring, I am not tracking the individual leaves).

My first thought is cocoons or some other insect behavior. Can anyone tell me what it is?

(What kind of tree it is will also be valuable, in case we can't find the answer to the leaf question here)

EDIT: Location is outside Boston, MA (USA).

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    $\begingroup$ Looks like a filbert (hazelnut) but I'm not certain of species...your location might help a bit and should always be included for species-identification questions. A picture of the full tree might help, too, I believe the "bushiness" of a filbert might help identification. Your "cocoons" are full of immature nuts at the moment. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause: Added location, outside Boston. $\endgroup$
    – cduston
    Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ What a blast from the past! I used to pick wild hazelnuts when I was a child. The wild ones were covered with sharp spiny projections, but the nuts were worth it. Lucky you! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 2:44

1 Answer 1


Based on the location and assuming this isn't a domesticated hazelnut there are two likely hazelnut species. The lack of the distinctive "beak" seen on the Beaked hazelnut means this is most likely an American hazelnut (Corylus americana):

American hazelnut fruits

The hairs along the young branch are also consistent with this (see for example the Plant Guide from the USDA).

Note, however, there are hybrids between American and European hazelnuts so it is beyond my ability to be completely sure by visual inspection alone.


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