from L-R: Barcelona, Lewis, Jefferson, Gamma
Interesting that much larger shell size between Barcelona and others does not mean much larger nut size!
In fact, nut sizes are fairly comparable. Jefferson, a variety for blight affected areas, appears similar to Barcelona despite the difference in shell size.
i have 4 hybrid hazels from Arbor day that are loaded with nuts this year. so much so most of the branches are on the ground. these are experimental bushes from badgersett farms that developed them with Arbor day. should be ready at the end of the month.im anxious to compare the nuts between bushes. going to layer the best one and spread them around the yard. never have enough nuts.
my best hybrid hazel was a very big producer (4 to 5 in a cluster) probably 3/4 the nut size of yours. compared to the other 3 bushes where the nuts were less than half the size of yours and not as productive. they havent been fertilized for the last 3 years. gonna hit them with some chic manure next spring. mine also had pretty thick shells and a flattened appearance.
The above photo was from nuts freshly cracked. I did not measure them then.
Below photo is nuts dried for 3 months at room temp:
About 11-12 mm. Uniform size despite shell differences
but NOT like the larger size hazels from local food coop. Waaa.
No rain all summer so that might have been an issue. I haphazardly watered trees
but assumed that since trees were 10-30 yrs old, they would be able to find water.
Soil test in 2018 showed total N level 2.24% - considered low. In subsequent years I
have spread 1-2 cups bloodmeal along drip line. Maybe need more?
“Hazelnut germination from seeds is easy, although the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service notes that hazelnuts grown from seed will not produce a tree with the same characteristics and nut quality as the tree that produced them. The resulting hazelnut seedlings can be left to grow on the chance they will produce good, edible nuts or they can be used as rootstock for grafting clonal varieties of improved hazelnut cultivars.”
Seeds would need to be harvested directly off tree in September and allowed to stratify outdoors (or refer). Shoots should emerge in June. Grafting nut trees is harder than apples and pears so you would probably need to set up a hot callus pipe system to encourage success.
On the other hand, since the trees sucker so profusely, I imagine air-layering would be very easy and, more importantly, you would be guaranteed a clone.
Trees are about 20’ apart and start branching 5-6’ up trunk… My original idea for that spacing was to prevent squirrels from jumping tree to tree. However, even with flashing-wrapped trunks and dangling mothballs, squirrels still can leap from ground to trees.
I pick nuts both from ground and from husks on tree once they loosen their hold on the nuts. Wish I could just let the nuts drop on a tarp and gather up every couple of days …but I would only find shells!
was very dry here too and i only watered occasionally as i have 3-4in. of woodchips around them so i assumed they had enough.my 4 hybrids are only 6 ft apart, but they grow as a hedge and i can still easily get in there to harvest. at 4 yrs theyre 6-10ft. tall and 6ft wide. they sucker alot so more bushes shouldnt be a issue.
Anyone here grow the Zarnowski’s (Z’s Nutty Ridge Nursery) hybrid seedling strains, “Finger Lakes Abundant” and “Cortland”? I wonder how they stack up in terms of nut size and shell-to-nut ratio? I hope to find out eventually, anyway, as I’m starting a little trial with FLA.
considering the price you pay at the store for them, its worth the wait to grow them. we dont have walnuts, hickory here so hazels are it. our wild beaked hazels are even smaller than small Americans and are a pain to get out of the husks. i let the squirrels have them.