How to Plant a Hazelnut and Harvest Your Own Hazelnuts: [Complete Guide]

Important points when planting hazelnuts
  • When to sow? Autumn is the most suitable time.
  • Where to do it? In fertile soils in hot climates that range between 12 to 20 ° C and have very good drainage.
  • Characteristics? It is a large and very leafy tree , which can reach up to 8 meters in height, with rounded leaves of about 12 cm and a reddish bark in the juvenile period and greyish when aging.
  • How to prepare the land? It should be rich in nutrients, with good organic matter of up to 2 percent.
  • How do we water? It is very sensitive to excess water. The drip irrigation method , in extensive crops, is very profitable to support productivity in fruit harvesting.
  • What favorable associations does it have? The species Corylus Avellana Nottingham , the Kentish Cob or the Corylus Maxima Purpurea can help improve fruit quality and at least two of them can be combined.
  • What pests and diseases does it have?  It is attacked by fungi and mites that can be very harmful to its useful life.


When to plant a hazelnut?

Hazel, a world famous tree , has one of the most desirable fruits: hazelnuts. 

Its scientific name is Corylus avellana and it is very common to see it in the temperate regions of Europe and Asia.

Some say that to plant a hazelnut you only need a fruit and the earth . But obviously, the matter of planting fruit trees is much more complex than that. Even when it comes to nuts.

The hazel tree can grow  up to about 8 meters high. And fall is the ideal season for planting your seed , fresh from the plant, or seeds purchased from the garden store also serve .


Where to plant hazelnuts?

Must  sow the seeds in very fertile land with excellent drainage and temperate climates with cool temperatures in winter and mild in summer .

The optimal environment, for example, of the so-called  European hazelnut ranges from 12 to 20 ° C. 

A garden or wide field that allows it to grow freely is ideal, because this irregular crown tree expands a lot, multiplying its leaves and branches that diversify from the base and provide a lot of shade.

It grows easily in any terrain , as long as the soil is not too heavy or wet . But choose a place with a slightly shaded location , ideal for this betulácea .

The bark changes from reddish in its early years to grayish , with the arrival of middle age.

Its rounded leaves fall off in the fall and are absent in the winter. They are about 12 cm long and their colors vary from green to yellowish.


 It blooms in spring and its fruit , so coveted, the hazelnut , is formed within a hard shell or cinnamon- colored shell , which takes up to 8 months.

It is prudent to comment that this tree is resistant and self-sufficient , despite its large dimensions and the wonderful fruit that it gives us every year. Being an important growth tree, it should be known that with a good pruning technique it can be controlled efficiently.

How to prepare the land to grow a hazelnut tree?

Although experts say that hazelnuts are not very demanding in terms of soil , it is advisable to apply the basic recommendations when cultivating them.

But the fertile soil of good nutrients , rich in organic matter (between 1.5 and 2 percent) will guarantee a long life for our hazelnut . So it is advisable to prepare the soil at least two weeks in advance of transplanting newly germinated seedlings .

So when choosing where to plant a hazelnut , make sure that the soil is light and well drained, it is essential to later see it flourish and bear fruit.


How do we water the hazelnuts?

Irrigation is essential during the hazelnut growing season, but the water will spread further with the arrival of maturity. Every 4 days will be enough.

However, it should be clarified that during very hot summers irrigation must be increased without allowing the accumulation of water under the trunk.

A maintenance pruning in the first years of life is also good to stimulate the production of flowers and fruits.

In large areas of hazelnut cultivation, it is convenient to use the drip irrigation system with approximately 2 discharge drippers for each tree,  in a total area of ​​use of 4 liters of water per hectare.


How to plant hazelnuts step by step?

When we acquire the seed , we must follow the following steps inherent in the process of planting it in the ground.

  1. Put the seeds in a glass of water and leave them to rest for 24 hours. Those that sink are those that will germinate.
  2. Prepare pots of about 8.5 cms. in diameter at least and about 13 cms. max . We cover them with universal cultivation substrate mixed with approximately 30 percent perlites and irrigate lime-free water. Sprinkle sulfur or copper on it to prevent fungal growth.
  3. Water and place a seed in each pot , taking care to bring them to the center of the container . Add more substrate and compact.
  4. With the arrival of spring, we will obtain the first hazelnut seedlings , but we must not go to the garden to plant them until the roots do not come out through the holes in the drainage that the pot brings.
  5. Once the land has been prepared in the field where our hazelnuts will grow, holes about 40 cm wide and deep must be opened . A mixture of sand and organic matter should also be incorporated into the holes that will improve initial rooting.
  6. The frame or planting area of each hazelnut, reaches about 5 × 4 meters . This implies that in each hectare about 500 trees can be planted . A single hectare can report up to 3,000 kilograms of hazelnuts per year.

What favorable associations does it have?

Whenever you want to obtain an unsurpassed quality in the flavor of hazelnut, it is optimal to choose the species Corylus Avellana Nottingham, the Kentish Cob or the Corylus Maxima Purpurea,  three excellent varieties of good hazelnut that can be combined.

Whenever we want to achieve a good production, it is good to plant at least two different varieties of simultaneous flowering , so that the pollination process occurs between neighboring trees.

If instead we want a tree with ornamental , decorative in our garden, the variety Corylus Avellana, contorta, Hazelnut or CorylusAvellana Aurea Pendula , will be ideal.


How do we harvest hazelnuts?

Did you know…
Is the world’s largest exporter of hazelnuts Turkey?

Hazelnut harvesting can be done manually or with specialized machinery . Obviously if you do not have large areas of hazelnuts , the machinery can be too great an expense to consider. 

We will do  the collection of hazelnuts when the fruit or involvement withers. 

You have to be very careful when collecting hazelnuts, since if we take time and don’t do it at the right time , the fruit will have too much moisture. 

We want the fruit to contain a maximum of 7% – 8% moisture . With more humidity, the drying of the same will not be correct and therefore it will not be possible to consume in its best conditions.

How long does the hazelnut take to produce fruit?

A newly planted hazelnut does not begin to produce a nut crop until the tree is established.

A first hazelnut crop can be expected between two and five years after planting the tree.

Initial crops are usually small, but as the tree matures, the crops increase in size.

A ripe hazelnut can produce up to 55 kg of walnuts in a single year. Once a tree begins to produce, a new crop of hazelnuts can be expected every year, for 50 years.

What pests and diseases does hazelnut have?

Various pests can attack a hazelnut tree.


Borer ( zeuzerapyrina L ) It is an insect of the order Lepidoptera that attacks in summer, acting in the upper part of the fruit trees where it parasites.

There, withered shoots and remains of excrement begin to appear on the leaves.

That is watered up to branches and trunk. They continue to proliferate until they generate eggs and larvae that multiply inside the wood , until a black- spotted caterpillar of this insect appears, which can measure up to 6 cm in length.

This pest is exterminated if you act with a good insecticide before flowering and when the first symptoms appear in the armpits of the hazelnut daughters.

Hazel Devil

Hazelnut Devil ( Curculionucum L ) It is another insect of the order Coleoptoros, which forms pests to parasitize hazelnut. It pierces the fruit, it opens holes in the hard bark of the hazelnut, whose deformations begin to be noticed and it falls from the branches prematurely. 

The development of this insect is rare and can last up to 3 years: The adults in spring feed on the youngest fruits.

Fertilized females, towards the end of the spring season, drill the fruit and lay their eggs there. Thus the larva will grow feeding on hazelnut pulp.

This larva is then buried and can remain so for up to 3 years , because it builds a cocoon in the ground.

Yellow and red spiders

Spiders yellow and red: You may also attack yellow spiders (EotetranychuscarpiniOud,. Tetranychus urticae Koch ) and spider mites ( Tetranycopsishorridus Can and Fa, Panonychusulmi Koch. )

The E. carpini is a tiny insect, yellow mite that causes much damage and gets into the cracks of the bark of the tree. The T. urticae attacks the plant cover. Both intensify their activity in the spring and suck the plant liquids on the underside of the leaves.

Both mites manage to attack the central part of the hazelnut , whose leaves turn yellowish until it begins to have a necrotic appearance.

The T horridus and Pulmi, in the winter, pass it in the form of an egg inside the trunk and in the branches of the hazelnut tree . They are red and their eggs hatch in spring, achieving 4 generations per year.

These mites cause large defoliation, causing a reduction in the photosynthetic activity of the tree. The most critical period of the attack occurs between the months of July-August.

It is recommended to apply balanced fertilizers without excess nitrogen , avoiding actions that generate large vegetative growth.

You have to look for the specific acaricides for each case, wetting the leaves very well, especially on the underside.

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