Monday, August 21, 2006

Hazel nut bush has nuts for the first time




I planted a couple of hazel nut (Corylus avellana) shrubs several years ago foolishly thinking that the land should be productive in a food way and the one bush that survived my wife's culling has produced nuts for the first time.

I bought it bareroot by mail order and it arrived as a tiny plant about 8" tall. It's taken 3 years to reach a height and spread of 2 1/2 feet tall by 3 feet wide. I wonder what pollenated the bush as my wife dug out the other one last year deeming it too ugly and sprawling? Anyway it seems we'll have about 8 nuts this year.

They are supposed to be a variety that has giant nuts and it seems that the fruit is of a large size already. And it was named a filbert. I don't know what the difference is between a hazel nut and a filbert if there is any.

I remember visiting a friends in the Mid-west where they used the hazelnut shrubs/trees to screen out the neighbors. The bushes were at least 10-15 feet tall with very thick foilage but not much was said about the nuts so I don't know if they were very fruitful or if the nuts were good tasting. So apparently after a time they grow to be quite large and make a pretty good tall screen in the Spring through Fall if you want to block out your neighbors when you're outside. Ugh, more pruning in the future.

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