Once a tree starts producing, you can expect a new hazelnut harvest every year, for up to 50 years. On average, hazelnuts aren't produced until a tree grows for 7 or 8 years from seed. Trees grown with other propagation methods can produce nuts in 2 or 3 years. However, self-incompatibility, changes in temperature, biennial production, pests, diseases and animal consumption can greatly affect performance.
One of the most interesting aspects of hybrid hazelnut production is their potential environmental benefits as an agricultural crop. Hazelnuts can thrive with minimal maintenance and a very low amount of inputs after the establishment period. Hybrid hazelnuts can produce nuts in standard agricultural areas or on mountainous, sloping or marginal soils that generally cannot support most other crops. The earthworm is the most economically important insect pest in the production of hazelnuts in Oregon.
And of course, hazelnuts are a crucial ingredient in what could be the world's most popular chocolate spread. One good thing about hazelnuts is that they can be shaped like shrubs or trees, depending on your preferences and the space available. One way to mitigate this is to try to pick hazelnuts from the trees just before they fall, when the shells turn brown and are voluntarily separated from their shells. If watering is needed, drip or drip irrigation with hazelnuts can be used to greatly increase water use efficiency and conserve this vital resource.
They are the scourge of the commercial hazelnut industry and every year an enormous effort is made to combat them. Since hazelnut varieties don't all pollinate at exactly the same time during the season, if you know when the flowers appear on your first hazelnut, you can purchase a variety that will bloom at the ideal time to match. Hazelnuts are fairly tolerant to a range of pH levels, but it is best if they are slightly acidic (6.5). The USDA and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) classify hazelnuts as a kind of coastal buffer zone, which acts as a natural biofilter that protects aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, contaminated surface runoff and erosion.
It gets complicated when it comes to deciding which hazel tree to plant as number two, so I would consider consulting a specialized nursery to make sure you get a genetically compatible variety. Discover how hazelnuts require less water, sequester more carbon, and reduce soil erosion and nitrogen pollution. While American hazelnuts can self-pollinate, European hazelnuts are self-incompatible, meaning that even though a single plant has male and female flowers, they cannot self-pollinate. The BMSB feeds on hazelnuts, and this publication helps producers and explorers learn to recognize the damage of BMSB in hazelnuts.