Does anyone have any experience growing hazelnuts in zone 5b.

I see that they can be grown as a hedge and that they don’t take too long to fruit.

Any suggestions as to varieties and/or methodology?



This site might help you out. I have young hazelberts growing as a hedge, spaced 4’ apart. I planted them a few inches deeper than they were grown at the nursery and they’re suckering well. I got mine from St. Lawrence’s two years ago.


I grow a hedge of wild ones but the nuts are empty and small.

I have hazelnuts hybrid plants from 3 sources, St Lawerence, Oikos, Badgersett. All have survived the last couple test winters here in Maine. Plants from SLN are the oldest, fifth leaf and have borne crops the last three years with five bushes making a bit over a gallon of unshielded nuts this season. Gotta be quick to beat the chipmunks to them! I hear Badgersett plants make bigger nuts, should have few next year, but the plants they sell are tiny.


They are generally supposed to be hardy to zone 5, right? I would get only blight-resistant cultivars since filbert blight is widespread. Think fireblight but a lot worse. Raintree sells many of them. I have a filbert hedge growing, its no work other than this one leaf caterpillar I need to control in midsummer. Mine are about 5’ apart. There is definitely a problem with squirrels, my trees are making a few nuts but I haven’t gotten one yet. I am hoping once they are really producing there will be enough so the squirrels are not getting them all.

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Just want to confirm that hazelnut grows and fruits in 5b Chicago area, but I don’t remember the varieties’ name

I always wanted to get the new blight resistant Red Dragon I think? Is the cultivar name. A contorted tree for ornamental reasons. I just have no room at this place, maybe in my next lifetime…


Here in Wisconsin we have wild hazelnut (American filbert-Corylus Americana) that is native
and growing well in the southern and central part of the state. My family picked a bushel of nuts in central Wisconsin this year off wild plants along a fire lane. The wild ones are definitely zone 4
as that area gets to -25 every winter.

We had a cabin in that area when I was a boy. Now many of my family live there. The key to beating the squirrels is to pick the nuts while still in the husks normally around Labor day weekend and finish drying them in paper grocery bags. If we wait a week later, often the squirrels have beat us to the nuts.

Where I work we commercially produce 5 gallon American filberts by the hundreds each year. All grown from native seed. Some in the wild have very small nuts. We have found a few with large nuts. Easy to crack and mighty tasty. I have not seen any blight on filbert around here but I know what an issue it is out in Oregon.

I would think that growing American filbert in the Chicago area will not be an issue. I have no
experience with any of the selections or hybrids on the market.

Wish hazelnuts were easy to graft because mine are to small to use.

I have lake property in zone 3 . The beaked hazel grows wild there . Small nuts but hardy .

I know the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has some ongoing hazelnut breeding and trial plots going on now. I inquired last spring about any new releases and they said at that time they were still a year or two out before plants would be available to growers.

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I planted a couple Hazelnuts from Oikos last summer here in Z4b. They are protected somewhat from the cold and wind so we will see if they survive -26F.

We pick the wild ones here every fall, the nut is not big but hazelnuts are my husbands favourite so he is willing to do the work.
The University of Sask, is now working on a larger Hazelnut that they say is self blanching. About 5000 plants have been sent out to their test orchardists but none as yet are available to the public. I hope these are as successful as the U of S sour cherries. You can bet they will be hardy.


I planted a Native Hazelnut from Oikos about four year ago. This year I got about a pint of nuts…they were small but tasted great. It is a great shrub, I have ordered 2 more to put in this spring and someday hope to gather gallons of nuts!

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I’m in 5b here most years, 6a in a good year, grin. Hazels bearing here:
Grimo 186 M
Farris B 17
Farris 88
Het 3
Lewis bears but tender
C americana/Winkler, not quite sure what the nursery sent
assorted seedlings from the above, Yamhill possible pollen parent

I’ve got the traditional contorted as well as Red Dragon. RD has been a painfully slow grower for me (its in my front bed and is probably more shaded than it would prefer. I will be fertilizing it heavily this year (this will be its 4th year and I doubt its much larger than when I got it).

I’ve got a couple seedling (oikos ecos) filberts that I will be pulling this spring as they are blight magnets (and its a shame, because they have fruited heavily the past 2 years, though the squirrels get 90%+.

I’m debating replacing them with newer blight resistant (Yamhill, Jefferson, Wepster) seedlings… or maybe I will just rip the blighted ones out and plant something else there…


I have wanted to grow these for a long time. One day!


Funny thing is what has been stopping me from ripping out the blighted hazelnuts is that even though they are blighted, they bloom and set very heavily. Right now there are about 150-200 catkins hanging from these poor branches…

I really have too much planted in this little yard…lol


Yes, exactly! Me too! I have to resist them. The new cultivars sound excellent though. AT least I get to start with them, if I fail to hold back :relaxed:

If you have room, grin, you could plant the blight resistant ones and save seednuts from the ones that blight. Some varieties have a single dominant gene for resistance and evenif they are splits for no resistance, half the seedlings get the resistance.

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