How to Plant a Hazelnut Tree
Hazelnut trees are great fruit producers but require trees of each sex to be productive. If you are going to plant a hazelnut tree, you need to be sure that there are others nearby for cross pollination to happen. If you are planting the tree because you want to have hazelnuts, you must ensure that you get a female tree.
A major problem disease that affected hazelnut trees until quite recently was the Eastern Filbert Blight. This disease was quite widespread and is still prevalent, so you need to have a tree that is resistant.
To Grow From Seed
Step 1: Plant the Seed
Hazelnut seeds can be planted into pots and germinate quite quickly. The soil must be kept damp but not wet. The seedling is ready to be planted outdoors as soon as the last frost has passed.
Step 2: Location of the Tree
If you are going to have fruit your tree, as well as being female, has to be within 50 feet of other hazelnut trees. The hazelnut tree is able to cope with shade and will prosper under taller trees. To have a good chance of getting a female tree you can plant 3 or 4 seedlings and cull them later. The male tree takes several years before it produces catkins so you will have a long wait before you can decide what to do about the spare trees.
Hazelnut trees produce a terrific amount of fruit that can become a nuisance when they shed their excess fruit onto the roads and foot paths beneath. This should be taken into account when choosing a location for the tree.
Step 3: Planting the Seedling
The seedling will need a hole several inches deep in well drained soil. It needs to be watered in to set the soil around it. For a short while after planting the seedling will need to be kept moist but will soon become maintenance free.
Step 4: Protection
Although there aren’t many natural dangers to hazelnut seedlings they do stand the risk of being destroyed by being walked on or driven over. Protect them with a couple of rocks or a small fence.
Step 5: Flowering
The hazelnut flowers in winter and the pollen is distributed by the wind. Because the other trees will generally not have leaves on them, the pollen has a very wide area of distribution. The female flower is not as attractive as the catkin of the male and often goes unnoticed.
There are a few types of hazelnut or filbert trees that produce both male and female flowers. These trees are not an answer to the problem of being close to other trees because they do not self pollinate.
Unlike many fruit trees, hazelnuts do not have to be picked. You can let the ripe fruit fall from the tree and simply pick it up from the ground.