Nuts are good for your health; they are truly super foods.  Like anything else worthwhile they do require a bit of work to grow, harvest and make use of.  However, doing so can be rewarding and is a way to add some healthy, locally grown food to your diet.  The best adapted nut species for NYS are black walnuts, butternuts, chestnuts (depending on your hardiness zone,) hazelnuts, and shagbark hickories.

Hazelnuts are easy to grow and come into production in roughly 4 to 5 years depending on how well you take care of them.  They will grow on a wide range of soil types though a well-drained site is best. 

When purchasing hazelnuts, be aware of the difference between layers (clones) and seedlings. With a hazelnut layer you are getting an exact copy of the parent plant with all its good characteristics (and bad.)  However, with seedlings you may end up with a plant that is even superior to its parents, or more likely one that isn't.  The longer, more in depth the breeding/selection program the greater the likelihood that a seedling will produce a plant with the desirable characteristics of its parents.

Hazelnuts are wind pollinated and you need at least two different plants (not identical clones) for good pollination.  Greater diversity in a planting will result in better pollination and nut set.  Avoid planting on windswept sites if possible.  A porous windbreak on the windward side of a planting is ideal; you want good air movement to reduce the incidence of fungal disease, but not too much to negatively affect pollination.

Well drained soils are best.  On sites with less than perfect drainage planting on a slightly raised bed aligned so it's on a roughly 1 percent slope may provide the best compromise between good infiltration and slow removal of excess rainfall during downpours. 

A soil test prior to planting, actually a whole year ahead is a good idea.  Aim to raise the soil pH to roughly 6.5 throughout the top 1-foot of soil (follow the liming directions you receive with your soil test report.) 

Dig a square hole so that the roots don't circle around the outside of the hole as they grow.  Plant so that all the roots are straightened out leading towards the sides of the holes.  It is better to widen out the hole or clip off long roots than to bend them to fit into an existing hole.  Adjust the height of the plant relative to the surrounding soil level so that you just cover the topmost roots of the plant with soil.

On less than perfectly drained sites you can raise the hazel 4 to 6-inches above the surrounding soil level and use extra soil so that you have enough to cover the topmost roots of the slightly elevated plant.  Hand weed or use cardboard to control weeds during the first few growing seasons.  Water the hazels well at planting and then once per week during the first growing season.

I've had good luck with hazels from Z's Nutty Ridge (,) Grimo Nut Nursery (,) and Oikos Tree Crops (  It is getting late to order so many of the better selections may not be available at this time.  You can find more information about growing hazels on the websites of the above mentioned vendors and at the NY Nut Growers Association homepage at

Views: 47


You need to be a member of CornellForestConnect to add comments!

Join CornellForestConnect


Silvopasture in Wisconsin: Goals, Challenges, and other Fodder for Thought

Started by Carl DuPoldt in Agroforestry May 9. 0 Replies

Silvopasture in Wisconsin: Goals, Challenges, and other Fodder for ThoughtWednesday, May 29, 2019 at 11:00am (CDT)Diane MayerfeldSustainable Agriculture Coordinator, UW-Extension, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) -…Continue

Small acreage logging project

Started by WJ Rodenhouse in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Lew Ward Apr 22. 1 Reply

A friend asked me what types of protections he should include in agreement with logger when having his 10 acre forest logged. I thought maybe some of you could provide insight. Logger stated Workman's comp wasn't needed in a family business.Thanks!Continue

Western Larch Question

Started by Alex Harmon in Wildlife Management. Last reply by Pamela Dallaire Mar 30. 2 Replies

Would a Western Larch (tree) NOT lose its needles during fall and winter if it was kept indoors? / what causes it to lose its needles(temperature change, change in length of days)? IF YOU KNOW THE ANSWER PLEASE REPLY!!!!!! NOT KNOWING IS KILLING ME!!Continue

How tree diversity affects invasive forest pests

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Brett Chedzoy Mar 27. 1 Reply

A long-standing tenet in forestry is that healthier and more diverse woods are typically more resilient to stress factors and pest.  This holds true in most cases, but there are the notable exceptions like EAB.This article from the "Morning Ag…Continue

480a disqualification after EAB

Started by Bill Pontius in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Bill Pontius Mar 17. 4 Replies

Here's a hypothetical question (hopefully). If an ash stand no longer has sufficient density to qualify for the 480a program following ash borer invasion, and if that stand is necessary for having more than 50 acres for the program, what happens?…Continue

Renewable Jet Fuel from Woody Biomass

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management Feb 27. 0 Replies

The carbon footprint of air travel is currently being scrutinized in the news.  Here's a renewable energy angle that probably won't be covered in the mainstream media: …Continue

Re wilding landscapes in New York with large mammals

Started by Jonathan Bates in Wildlife Management Feb 25. 0 Replies

Hello folks. Love to chat with you about re-wilding landscapes in NY. Here is a neat video about a successful project in Britain: …Continue

Tags: services, ecosystem, carbon, forest, succession



© 2019   Created by Peter Smallidge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service