How to propagate, grow hazelnut trees and their care

Introduction: Growing hazelnut trees is a rewarding endeavor, providing both tasty nuts and ornamental beauty to your landscape. This comprehensive guide covers the propagation, growth, and care of hazelnut trees, ensuring a successful harvest and healthy trees for years to come.

  1. Propagation Methods: Hazelnut trees can be propagated through seeds, cuttings, or grafting. Seeds require stratification for several months before planting. Cuttings should be taken from mature branches in early spring, while grafting involves joining a hazelnut scion to a compatible rootstock.
  2. Choosing a Planting Site: Select a site with well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Hazelnut trees prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (5.5 to 7.0). Ensure good air circulation and avoid low-lying areas prone to frost.
  3. Planting Hazelnut Trees: Plant hazelnut trees in late winter to early spring, spacing them 15 to 20 feet apart. Dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball. Place the tree in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Mulch around the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  4. Watering and Fertilizing: Water young hazelnut trees regularly, especially during dry periods, to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring before new growth appears, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Pruning Hazelnut Trees: Prune hazelnut trees in late winter to early spring to remove dead, diseased, or crossing branches. Encourage an open canopy to improve airflow and light penetration, which reduces disease risk and promotes nut production.
  6. Pest and Disease Management: Monitor hazelnut trees regularly for signs of pests such as aphids, mites, or caterpillars, and diseases like Eastern Filbert Blight or crown gall. Practice good sanitation by removing fallen leaves and nuts to reduce disease spread.
  7. Harvesting Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts mature in late summer to early fall, depending on the variety. Harvest when the nuts are fully ripe and begin to fall from the tree. Collect nuts from the ground daily to prevent spoilage.
  8. Storing and Using Hazelnuts: Remove the husks and dry hazelnuts in a well-ventilated area for a few weeks before storing in a cool, dry place. Hazelnuts can be eaten raw, roasted, or used in various culinary dishes, from baked goods to salads.

Conclusion: By following these steps for propagation, growth, and care, you can successfully cultivate hazelnut trees in your garden or orchard. With proper attention to watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pest management, you’ll enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious nuts and the beauty of these versatile trees for years to come.

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