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
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
- Dried nuts can be ground into flour
- General insect pollen plant
- Provides food and shelter for wildlife
- 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
- 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)
- Stool layering
- Sucker shoot division in early spring
- Seeds need 4-5 months stratification for germination
Prune sucker shoots as needed. Or better yet, divide them in early spring and share hazelnut plants with others.
- Tolerates juglone from walnut trees.