Learn About Hazelnuts
How to Sow
Hazelnut: Potted Fruit Plant
How to Plant
Planting Potted Plants:
- Choose a location in full sun in an area with well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
- Hazelnuts are not self-fertile and two trees are needed for cross pollination. Make sure you have enough room for two mature trees spaced 20 feet apart.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
- The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
- Space plants 20 feet apart in the garden.
- Dig a hole at least 2 times the size of the root ball.
- Set the plant in the hole so that the root ball is level with the surrounding soil, backfill and press the soil firmly into the hole cavity.
- Water deeply. The water will seal off any air pockets around the root ball.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients. Control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulch around the plants to a depth of 2-3 inches or organic matter to preserve moisture and prevent weeds. For fruit plants an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Do not fertilize unless leaves are showing a nutrient deficiency
- Male flowers are yellowish, in catkins to 3” long, appearing early spring.
- Hazelnuts tend to sucker; trim away extra sprouts as they emerge at the base to maintain a central trunk. For a more bush-type plant cut out all but 5 to 6 strong stems. No other pruning is needed.
- Monitor for Pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Hazelnuts are ½ inch across, enclosed in husks, and ripen in September.
- Harvest hazelnuts after their husks have dried, split and dropped from the tree. Fallen nuts can be raked and cleaned off. If picking earlier, gently pop off the husks encasing the nuts. Harvest regularly, before squirrels and birds do.
- Dry the nuts before storing. Spread the nuts out in a warm and well-ventilated spot. This takes several days; the nutmeats turn dark when dry. Check by cracking nuts in the shell.
- Dry nuts can keep up to 2 years frozen, or for a year in a refrigerator.
- Un-roasted nuts store better. Keep them in a jar or plastic container covered tightly enough to keep out moths. Check stored nuts for mold.
Common Pests and Problems
Common Pest and Cultural Problems
Do I need two different varieties of hazelnut to get fruit? Yes, hazelnuts require at least two different varieties to get nuts. Burpee sells them as a set.
Will I get fruit the first year? No, the first fruit should be in 3 years, with full fruit in 7-10 years.
Do hazelnut trees have nice fall color? Yes, fall foliage is very showy yellow to coppery reds.
How do I keep birds from eating the fruit? Check the trees every day for fallen nuts and rake them up. Use bird netting on the trees to prevent them from eating immature nuts.
How long will hazelnut trees last? If well maintained hazelnut trees can last 30 years.