ABOUT HAZELNUT

Corylus americana

Relatives: Birch,Hornbeam

The name "Corylus " originates from 'korys', which meas helmet or hood, after the husk of the nut. The term 'filbert' might have come from 'full beard', describing its long, leafy husk. The American Hazelnut is native to North America, Canada, China and Japan, and the nuts of the American hazelnut has been an important food source throughout history.
Pollen studies in Europe have found evidence of Hazelnuts in large areas of Europe between 7500-5500 BC. The Romans burned Hazelnuts torches during weddings to ensure fertility and a happy marriage. And in England, it has long been believed that if you court your sweetheart beneath a Hazelnut tree, ou are assured of happiness.

DESCRIPTION

Really more of a shrub or small tree, they are moderately fast growing and live for 75 -- 85 years, on average. They are many stemmed. The leaves are deciduous, rounded and with a heart shaped base and double toothed. Dark green and coarse and a little wrinkly. They turn yellow in autumn. The flowers are really catkins and occasionally self sterile, so it is best to plant another for better pollination. The fruits are born in clusters, with each nut encased within its own green, leafy husk, and when dry, the nut is released. The nuts are smooth and brown when ripe with a single, brown kernel.

CULTIVATION

Full sun and need about 800 hours of chilling for proper fruit set. They grow well in moist but well drained loam, and actually do quite well in clay soils. Keeping well mulched helps, along with an annual application of a general fertilizer. Prune to shape and to limit suckering. Generally pest free in our area.

CULTIVARS

Avalon Blanche, Barcelona, Crosford, Kentish Cob, rode Zeller, Tonda de Giffoni,, others.