Hazelnut Pollination?

Anyone familiar with hazelnut pollination? I put in about 15 hazelnuts that were seedlings from known blight resistant varieties. Plus a few american. Will those seedlings pollinate each other or do I need to bring in a ringer for that? Thanks.

If they are " seedlings", not clones , then you should have a good amount of pollen shed over a long time. With good overlap in bloom times.
So , yes , you should be in good shape.
Depending on wind direction / spacing.
The pollen ,I believe is heavy, and will only go so far.
So a block (square )type planting may be better than , say one long row.
A friend has a “block"planting of the blight resistant clones, appropriate pollinators mixed in. With a row around the outside of " seedlings” to all but guaranty pollination,no matter which way the wind blows.


@Hillbillyhort ---- Thanks for the response. Do you know if the american ones will pollinate with the hybrid seedlings? I was going to do two hedge rows ten feet apart. How close do you think they can be planted in a row? Just curious. How far are you from Harpers Ferry?

"Will American ones pollinate the hybrids "?
Well they will cross, how good they are at pollination ,I don’t know ?
mostly I would think, it depends on timing.
Each will shed pollen / be receptive at different times.
Since you have seedlings , there is no pollination chart to follow as there is with the named varietys .
Hedge rows 10 ft apart is too close for the hybrids.They can get big. And need some room for the long term.
something like 20x16 ft seems more apropriate .
You need to be able to get in there to mow.,so you can harvest.
The American ones are much smaller ,so you could plant a lot closer.maybe 16x 8ft
As I mentioned above , a square block type planting will pollinate better than long rows.
I am about as far from Harper’s ferry as you can get and still be in Wv…South of Huntington

Just to round out the info here.
There are different groups of compatible hazels,
Around ~ 30 alleles groups ,they must be compatible.
For most named varietys , they have this worked out. Which ones are compatible genetically .
( for seedlings this is unknown ?)

So… They need:
To cross pollinate , minimum 2 different plants.
Most recommend 3 pollinators , that she’d pollon before , during and after the "main " crop variety.
To bloom so that the bloom times overlap.
Pollen only goes ~ 50 ft.or so ,depending on wind./ direction.
So close proximity is important .
AND there are different allele groups that are/( are not ), compatible .
There are charts of bloom times/ compatibility on line.
So for the named varietys , this could be complicated.
For seedlings… It’s just what it is ?

Also ,these “new” blight resistant cultivars are unproven in time.
That is , there are many strains of EFB.across the country,
And these new resistant varietys just have not been around long enough to prove their self over time, in all regions.
There may be strains of the blight they are not resistant to. ?
Time will tell.
I have lost a 30 yr.old hybrid planting to EFB.
These where "not " from the new blight resistant breeding program . 30ft tall , productive for years, the blight showed up,
Killed them all in ~ 5yrs.
I hope the “new” ones work ! ?


I have studied these a little as far as listening to growers. All say that the new varieties get blight. They just do not die as often and can be managed. Most said the plants did not see blight till they were near ten years old. Seems awful deadly to be a fruit or nut tree in the usa.

As for pollination. You are right and for safety just add more seedlings. Internet had me confused with their complicated early-mid-late scheme. I bought these as something new to sell at market. Do you think there is a good market for them? Certainly do not see them around much.

Yes, looks like the market is under supplied .
So should be good for successful growers .
Other than EFB. My biggest problem has been squirrels and chipmunks, none of my fields are really far enough away from the woods to be safe from these rodents.
I think to be successful ,one needs a large planting , in a open field. So that a squirrel does not feel comfortable crossing the open ground around it.
Small plantings near a wooded area just end up in chipmunk root cellars .
Would love to see the corn belt, become the hazel belt !
So I hope these new ones workout .


One last thought. I used to have a couple cats that loved nothing more than hunting squirrels for sport. They would chew their heads off, take them and leave me the bodies. I have found cats and dogs are the only way to keep predators away. Although they sell these hawk nest that are supposed to attract hawks to nest there. They eat all the predators except live deer. I may give that a whirl myself.

In “open” country , adding tall poles with a cross bar “perch”
At the top can attract birds of prey , giving them a good place to hunt from. As do standing dead trees.
I have plenty of perches , lots of Hawks , etc.
Just more than they can eat. Surrounded by forest full of nuts and squirrels.
I am considering building some barn owl nest boxes.

I have very few squirrels here. My primary predator is deer. Thousands of them (literally). In the past though I have found shotguns and traps work pretty good on squirrels. Nothing goes to waste. Other animals come in and eat the dead squirrels. If they had more meat I hear they make good gravy. Really a shame deer have no meat value. I could quit work.

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@Robert @Hillbillyhort. You two have already covered this topic and all I can add is say that I believe that pollination won’t be an issue with your assortment of plants. This is my third year from planting York, Jefferson, Theta. These are all rated as blight resistant but I think they need several years to verify just how resistant. My guess is that many of your seedling will also carry the resistance gene but some may not. When I purchased my plants I relied on Raintrees suggestions for pollen overlap. My plants bloomed in the second year but did not have catkins. This year I have some catkins so I’m hoping to get some nuts next season. Good luck with yours. Bill

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I like deer meat , have lived on it for years.
If you have that many ,you will need to protect (cage, fence)
Your hazels , the deer are fond of hazel leafs.

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In the middle of construction at this very moment. I have 8 foot fence going around all of the kiwi. I am just building off its side with more fence. Kind of like it like that. If they get in one area they can’t access all of it with the sections. Plus now I can grow regular crops in the hazels area. Something deer would have destroyed immediately. If you ever have to come out this way, bring a gun and a trailer to load them all on. Not much of a hunt. Just sit back on the porch and wait. With my orchard every deer in 50 miles knows where my house is.

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@Auburn I was telling Hillbilly that I had listened to a couple people growing Hazels commercially. They said the newer varieties do get blight, but it is not as severe and can be controlled. So less death I assume. And they said it usually takes the tree about 10 years before it will start showing signs of it. I put in a lot of seedlings, but they all came from the same source. Hopefully the gene pool is not too close.

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Almost forgot. They said it was Jefferson that they were having the most problems with.

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@Hillbillyhort Been studying up more on hazels as I can’t seem to stop buying more. From reading college reports and listening to growers, looks to me like there is not really a blight resistant variety. It’s just luck. Like you said there are more than one strain of EBT and what kills this one may not another. I think insects and diseases just kind of blow around the country. They are here for a year or two then move on and something else moves in. So I think no matter what variety is planted it is just a matter of time.

I have about 25 now mostly hybrid seedlings with a few american. Anyway, thinking about trying an experiment. Seems american is the way to go for the long haul. That being the case I want to try to create my own improved american. 10x the nut size and they would be the perfect hazel. Looking to sell the trees as EBT resistant commercial quality if successful. Most likely would end in failure, but still fun. Do you think people would buy the tree if it had euro sized nuts? Do you consider the american just as tasty? The more I learn about hazels I just see profit in every direction and dedicating far more land than originally planned.

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I think that you right. It will take a long time to get a good outlook on the newer hybrids blight and disease resistance. My guess is that it will take another 10-20 years. Right or wrong I’m all in on the newer hybrids. I enjoy growing the low maintenance hazels.

Don’t sell yourself short. You might come up some superior varieties but I think that it will take a long time for an individual to be successful and then give it the test of time. I hope your successful. Bill

I’m very interested in superior selections of American hazelnuts. I have three American hazelnuts seedlings that have been super reliable and trouble-free. The nuts taste as good as any hazelnut I’ve ever eaten, but they’re very small with relatively thick shells. I also bought a Winkler hazelnut more recently, but it’s still quite small and hasn’t produced any nuts yet. I’m interested in hearing about other selections of pure C. americana, especially with better nut size. I got my Winkler from Edible Landscaping:


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I received a hazelnut from someone last year and never thought about it needing cross pollination. I guess I need to add another one or else no hazelnuts for me… I was reading in a new catalog that I got this weekend and happened to see that it said to plant at least 2 for pollination. I headed straight here and searched. Glad I found out before it was to old and I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have any. Now I can plant another close by.

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