Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees
Hazelnuts, sometimes called filberts, are selections of the European species Corylus avellana that are grown for nut production. Growing to just 10–18 ft. tall and wide, they are handsome and nicely structured trees, a good choice for a garden or terrace. From spring to fall, the roundish, ruffle-edged leaves cast a pleasant spot of shade. Showy catkins (male flowers) hang long and full on bare branches in winter. Hazelnuts ripen in late summer and drop in early fall; the roundish or oblong nuts form inside frilled husks. A 10-year-old tree may yield up to 20 lb. of nuts per year. Best crops are produced in cold-winter areas.
Eastern filbert blight, a destructive bark disease, has devastated old standby varieties ‘Butler’, ‘Daviana’, ‘Du Chilly’, and ‘Ennis’; they are no longer recommended in the prime hazelnut-growing areas of Oregon. The following varieties have partial to excellent blight resistance. Since cross-pollination is necessary, plant at least two varieties. For a boundary hedgerow, plant mixed varieties 4 ft. apart and let suckers grow.
‘Barcelona’ is the classic variety. Productive, flavorful, has some resistance to Eastern filbert blight.
‘Casina’ is from Spain. The most heavily planted hazelnut in Oregon in 1995. Mid to late pollen shedder. Cross with ‘Hall’s Giant’. Thin shell, perfect nuts for processing. Moderate resistance to Eastern filbert blight.
‘Hall’s Giant’ is a great pollinator, compatible with everything. Has some resistance to Eastern filbert blight.
‘Santiam’ is the only blight-immune hazelnut.
Two types of hybrids, called filazels and trazels, can be grown in Zone 1a. Filazels—hardy, 10–15-ft. producers of good-quality nuts—are hybrids between C. avellana and the North American beaked hazelnut (C. cornuta). Trazels—upright, 20–30-ft. trees that produce sweet, fine-flavored nuts—are crosses between C. avellana and Turkish hazel (C. colurna). Plant two of the same type for cross-pollination.
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