(Corylus spp hybrid)
The hazelnut is a wonderful, nut-producing shrub that can reach up to 15 ft in height and width. They can be trained to be quite compact for easier harvest. They can grow in a variety of soil types and conditions, really they’re pretty tough beings. They produce delicious, nutrient dense, protein rich small nuts, quite reliably. Once established and at bearing age, you should get a sizable crop almost every year. Hardy down to zone 4, fairly certain down to 3.
Hazelnuts are wind pollinated, by male catkins (the small pollen sacs pictured) spreading their pollen onto female flowers. Plants have both male and female parts, but it’s best to plant a few for adequate pollination, ensuring you get a sufficient amount of nuts.
These are tough shrubs, usually bearing at age 3-5. They are extremely resilient plants, with flexible limbs that bend easily for harvest, or can be weaved into a living fence/hedge. Every seedling is different, so they will bear slightly different characteristics (such as height, bearing age, nut flavor etc.)
American Hazelnut: The American hazel or American Filbert is a large deciduous shrub native to eastern and central America and the southern portions of east and central Canada. The shrub can take on a tree type growth or a shrub type growth. Reaching 10-16 feet tall, they have flexible limbs for easy harvest. Should bear in as little as 4 years, some may be longer.
European Hazelnut: A large shrub or small tree with thicket forming habits. One single stemmed growth pattern can reach up to 20 feet tall. Shrub form will grow up to 12 feet tall and will sucker quite extensively. Will grow almost anywhere, especially in moderate to low nutrient areas. Like all hazels, the nuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fats. Can bear in as little as 4 years.
Hybrid Hazelnuts: These are hazelnuts that have been collected from hybrid plants, or nuts that have been collected where American and European hazels are free to cross-pollinate, creating new varieties. Hybrids are great because we are continuing the evolution of the species, and also you can discover new traits and habits. You may even discover a cultivar to name yourself, who knows!?
*Plant at least two of any variety for pollination