Hazelnuts

I planted a couple hazelnut shrubs, twiggy and sparse, to form a small hedge in the front yard. Two years later they filled in and started producing catkins. In their third year, I harvested my first homestead hazelnuts. As the filberts ripen they blush with an attractive rose shell covered in soft fuzz.


Common Name: Hazelnuts, Filberts
Scientific Name: Corylus americana
Family: Corylaceae


Hazelnuts at the Little House on Pine

Hazelnuts at the Little House on Pine.

Uses

I find the tiny American hazelnuts difficult to extract from the shells and leave most of them for the native wildlife. The hazelnuts make an attractive hedge and windbreak.

  • Edible nuts
  • Hedge/screen/windbreak
  • Dried nuts can be ground into flour
  • General insect pollen plant
  • Provides food and shelter for wildlife

Medicinal Properties

  • Febrifuge (reduces fever)
  • Astringent (bark poultice closes cuts and treats sores)

Forest Garden Designing

  • Plant Type: Medium to large-sized shrub
  • Plant Leaf Type: Deciduous
  • Layer Use: Shrub
  • Pollination: Self-fertile, benefits from cross-pollination
  • Flowering: Early Spring through Summer
  • Leaf Shape: Heart-shaped, double-toothed, growing to 5 inches long

Planting Considerations

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Light: Prefers full sun
  • Shade: Tolerates deep shade, but nut production is reduced proportionate to light reduction
  • Moisture: Medium soil moisture preferred
  • pH: most species prefer fairly neutral to alkaline soil (6.1 – 7.5)

Propagation

  • Stool layering
  • Sucker shoot division in early spring
  • Grafting
  • Seeds need 4-5 months stratification for germination

Maintenance

Prune sucker shoots as needed. Or better yet, divide them in early spring and share hazelnut plants with others.

Extra Benefits

  • Tolerates juglone from walnut trees.

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