A ripe hazelnut tree can produce up to 25 pounds of nuts in a single year. Once a tree starts producing, you can expect a new hazelnut harvest every year, up to 50 years. Native hybrid hazelnuts provide a crop that is constantly in short supply, are well known to consumers and are almost grown on their own. By Dawn and Jeff Zarnowski Tasty and healthy hazelnuts are used in many food products desired by consumers and are chronically scarce.
Almost all of the hazelnuts consumed in North America come from Oregon or Turkey. However, hazel trees are native to the eastern half of North America, from Louisiana to Georgia in the south, to Manitoba and Quebec in the north. Native hazelnuts (Corylus americana) are resilient, disease-resistant and highly tolerant to a wide range of growing conditions, and yet there is a shortage of nuts. Indigenous nuts are usually small and are not as tasty as European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), which have been selected for their quality for hundreds and thousands of years.
This is where the hybridization of the two species of hazelnuts over the past century has produced new varieties that have the best qualities of both. Hazelnut organizations have been formed to promote the cultivation of this native crop with better qualities. Another wonderful thing about hazelnuts is that you don't have to wait long before the tree produces nuts so you can eat them. Hazel trees begin to bear fruit in just 4 years and produce large yields in the sixth or seventh year.
In addition, you can choose to grow it as a shrub or as a single-stemmed tree. A multi-stemmed shrub will form if you do not cut or cut the shoots that grow near the base of the tree. In the form of a shrub, it will grow 8 to 12 feet tall. In the shape of a shrub, the hazelnut allows you to easily pick walnuts by hand and plant them without worries in the environment to control erosion or as a hedge.
If you choose to grow it as a single-stemmed tree, it will grow 14 to 16 feet tall and about the same width. Once the tree is large enough to shade the base, the shoots will not grow. The native hazel tree is adaptable and easy to grow; however, it took many generations of hybridization to generate native trees with large, tasty nuts. Hazelnuts prefer well-drained soil with few nutrients; soil that is too rich produces abundant leaf growth at the expense of flowers and nuts.
The American Hazelnut Filbert adapts well to a variety of soil pH. It's best to opt for a slightly acidic pH or close to pH 7, but avoid alkaline soils above that level, or adjust it with sulfur and maintain acidity with sulfate-containing amendments. Although the trees have male and female flowers, they are not self-fertile, so you will always get better results if you plant them in groups so that pollen can move from one hazelnut to the next, although other trees in the neighborhood will also help with pollination. If you want a delicious treat, look no further than this delicious recipe for dark chocolate and hazelnut truffles.
One good thing about hazelnuts is that they can be shaped like shrubs or trees, depending on your preferences and the space available. Hazelnuts are monoecious, meaning they produce male and female flowers on the same tree, although they may not bloom at the same time. Whether roasted, ground into flour, made into butter, or eaten straight in the shell, hazelnut is a healthy addition to countless main courses, candies, cereals and beverages. The American hazelnut “Filbert”, although it is called a tree, grows more like a shrub whose size is easily manageable with pruning.
And of course, hazelnuts are a crucial ingredient in what could be the world's most popular chocolate spread. I was especially excited when I found out that hazelnuts (also known as colbertas) only take three to five years to reach their first harvest. Because of the way hazelnuts are grown, there is little you can do to keep squirrels away from trees, other than locking them in a fruit cage lined with wire mesh, which seems a bit excessive. .