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Coffee made with hazelnuts, hazelnut spread, hazelnuts… We may thank the common hazel tree (Corylus avellana) for the wonderful hazelnuts we enjoy.
Though technically, any plant in the genus Corylus can yield a nut, the common hazel is the most commonly used source.
Even though we have a native Corylus species in the United States, the common hazel is still the best choice for producing nuts.
Growing hazelnuts is much easier than growing some of the other nuts we might discuss. Furthermore, they yield swiftly, ensuring that you do not have to wait a decade for your first crop.
If you’re searching for healthy food to grow in your garden that won’t take up a lot of space and that you can start eating in a few years, the hazelnut is an excellent choice.
We’ll show you how to get started and care for your hazelnut trees.
Hazelnut Tree (Aesthetic)
Hazelnuts can be used for wire fencing and basket making in addition to eating. The leaves and twigs will also benefit your cattle. The nuts and leaves are also used for medicinal purposes.
The hazel is also prized for its aesthetic appeal; the intriguing blossoms are a conversation starter, but the twisting branches are the real show-stopper.
The wonderful cultivar Corylus avellana ‘Contorta,’ also known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, exemplifies this in an over-the-top exaggerated form.
How Do You Grow?
- If your climate is hot and dry, find a site in full sun or partial shade.
- Filberts require at least four hours of direct sunlight per day and around 15 to 20 feet of area to spread out for optimal nut production, so make sure to position your plants accordingly.
- Hazelnuts are monoecious, meaning they produce both male and female blooms on the same tree, though not at the same time.
- Furthermore, not all kinds cross-pollinate. When choosing cultivars, it’s necessary to plant multiple varieties and pay heed to pollination compatibility guidelines.
- Wet the roots thoroughly before planting bare-root saplings or potted shrubs obtained from a nursery, then drill a hole twice as deep and twice as broad as the root ball and insert it in the hole.
- While American hazelnuts can self-fertilize, European hazelnuts are self-incompatible, meaning they cannot pollinate one other despite having both male and female flowers on the same plant.
- Even if you’re planting a self-pollinating species, it’s still a good idea to plant multiple varieties to maximize yields.
How To Care For Hazelnut Trees
Hazelnuts are monoecious and do not pollinate themselves. Hybrid hazel types are available if you want a self-pollinating hazel. Online speciality vendors that specialize in fruit and nut trees sell both male and female trees.
The common hazel is a low-maintenance plant. One thing to keep in mind is that if you wish to produce nuts, you’ll need two trees, one male and one female, depending on your planned usage.
If you have numerous trees, you may or may not wind up with a bit of shell litter under them, which may or may not bother you.
If that’s the case, you’ll probably need to clean up the shell your friendly creatures left under the trees…
If you want the most blooms and nuts, plant a hazel in a spot that gets full sun for the majority of the day. It will grow in part shade as well, although flower production will be reduced.
It’s critical to keep your hazel tree well-watered if you want it to produce a lot of flowers and nuts.
It will not survive drought and will require additional irrigation to remain a viable producer if you want it to fruit during seasons of drought.
After planting, water it with the same normal rule of 10 gallons per inch of trunk diameter. Even in the driest of climates, this strategy will keep your hazel green and flowering.
Humidity and Temperature
Hazelnut trees thrive in moderate climates. They aren’t very excellent at surviving deep freezes, and they also can’t handle excessive heat and humidity.
They outperform many trees in terms of wind resistance, but that is the only extreme to which they will stand up. Keep your tree in USDA zones 4-8 if you want it to thrive.
Soil And Fertilizer
The hazelnut tree is adaptable, however, densely packed soils, clays, and rocky soils are best avoided. Its preferred growing conditions are sandy loams with good drainage.
Apply an organic slow-release fruiting tree fertilizer in the fall to your tree for maximum flowers and fruit production.
Pruning Hazelnut Trees
Cutting away the suckers that all hazels appear to generate is the main care duty for a hazelnut tree.
If you’re using your hazel to attract wildlife and birds, this might be a good idea. When the sucker growth matures, it will form a thicket, providing shelter and a habit for the creatures and bird friends.
If you don’t want it, clip the sucker growth and use it to make a brush pile as a shelter, or if you’re the crafty kind, it’s great for everything from basketry to wreathe crafting.
When pruning, keep in mind that suckers and lateral branches are not the same things. If you remove any branches that protect the trunk from the sun, you’ll get irreversible, prolific sprouting.
Trees need around four years to produce nuts.
The nuts will fall from the branches when they ripen in the autumn when the plant is mature enough for the first harvest.
To gather them, simply rake them into a mound or place a tarp under the tree.
Filberts, in my opinion, are the way to go if you’re trying to cultivate and harvest your nuts.
After the shrub has been planted, it will only take a few seasons for the buttery aroma of freshly roasted hazelnuts to fill your home.!
Once the shrub is in the ground, you only have to wait a few seasons until you can begin filling your home with the buttery aroma of freshly roasted hazelnuts.
Are you growing hazelnut trees in your yard? Share your tips in the comments below!