Train Young Hazelnut Trees

I just planted some young hazelnut (non American type) plants early last winter. Now they are leafing out. They are about one foot tall and all buds are leafing out. There are about 8-10 buds.

I’d like to keep some lower branches for layering for new plants. Then I want to train the plant to tree form. I’m just not sure how many lower buds to keep. I probably just need to keep one top bud to train to tree form.

Any suggestion? They are spaced like 15’x 18 apart. I have 8 right now and I like to add more.

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im curious what kind of comments you get. ive just let mine grow in bush form, pruning dead or rubbing branches. have patience. mine are 5 yrs old and have only gave me a handful of nuts so far. mine are pure american so maybe yours may have nuts sooner.

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I planted ten air layered Jeffersons about a month ago and every time I go by them I try to justify a bush form or a tree. I’m still undecided.

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A benefit of a tree form, if there is space, is you can cover the trunk and make it unclimbable. That’s pointless if they are close to other climbable things.

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I know I won’t be training them to bush since that will make it impossible to control the small animals. Also those varieties can grow tall. The tree form as growing in Oregon or Ohio is the form I like to have.

I just want to find the balance to have the layers vs the apical bud. I’ll probably leave 2-3 lowest buds for layers and remove all others except the apical bud.

@ Auburn I’d like to hear how you train the layers to new plants. How soon did you start to bend them? How long did it take?

Also, this is the tree form (from internet) I’d like to train. Deer is another problem and the main trunks would be 4-5’ level.

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I’m going to start out with the tree form and my limbs about 4-5 feet high. If I get tired of removing low suckers I think I could let them develope into a bush.

The hazels I just moved away from were starting the 5th season and they were in a bush form. My plans this time is to start out 4-5’ high somewhat like a modified leader. When possible I like to get four limbs on different sides of the trunk and have them 6-8" apart. Then as the tree grows I will let another group of 4 start 2-4’ higher. Seldom does any of my trees conform to what I like but getting them close helps in my opinion. I bend limbs on most all my fruit trees but I haven’t considered this for hazels.

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I was asking how you layer the branches to produce new plants. That is what I want to do since I need a lot of new plants. They can only be cloned. Layering may be better than rooting. Not sure if you can root hazels from cuttings.

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Hazelnut cuttings aren’t easy to root. Mound layering is a more common and successful propagation method for the plant.

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That is what I heard. This is why I plan to layer 2-3 off each plant by bending. Some propagate hazel by mounding the base to about 12" tall with sawdust or sand. So they can get like 6-10 plants off each mother plant.

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The variety Lewis is for me. I stuck two prunings stabbed into the ground next to the tree and they both took. No additional care and seldom watered. But we have a long, cool, rainy spring.

I just transplanted those two this winter, a couple years later, and attempted grafting Halle’s Giant to them. At the same time as the transplant, I stabbed several more cuttings into the ground. They are leafing out. We’ll see if I have more trees in a few weeks. Its heating up this week.

FWIW, hazels grow wild here.

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All my hazels were rooted in the 2 liter drink bottles. I cut the bottom out and turned upward and lowered onto the dormant limb. Fill with potting soil and wait. Nice thing is that you can see the roots when they form.

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So this is more like air layering, not the ground layering I was thinking. But the same principle. This is how folks air layer fig plants.

I’ll probably keep the lower 3 branches and the top bud. I just do not know if deer will come to bother them. They are inside large concrete wire tomato cages. But deer can still stick in through the large opening. I hope I do not have to buy those expensive plastic tree tubes.

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I heard about this. I’m just not sure what type they are. Most hybrid or American?

I think your method would work for me and I intended to try it until we decided to move. Not sure what the take rate would be but it would be easy to put about three cuttings to a hole and save the first to root.

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The wild hazelnuts hear are beaked hazelnuts. Beaked Hazelnut, Corylus cornuta | Native Plants PNW

Lewis is one blight resistant cultivars. It’s the only one I’ve “tried” to propagate clonally. I put that in quotes because I expended almost no effort.

If the deer hadn’t eaten back my Jefferson and other couple of varieties, I’d have probably stabbed some of those in the ground too.

Just read that Hall’s giant has only intermediate resistance to blight :frowning:

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Most of the new blight resistant hazels come from Midwest. There is the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium.

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@RedSun
I am not aware of a hazel breeding program at Ohio state, ( could be wrong )
But Oregon state university does have such a program .
And they go by OSU also

@ Hillbillyhort

Yes, you are right. It should be OSU (Oregon) and the Midwest Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium…

My thoughts on tree vs Bush …
If you allow suckers to form on a young plant that you want to be a tree , I think you will be fighting suckers for a long time.
So best to not allow them to be there at all if you want a tree
Just one shoot going up. A tree.
They do kind of want to be a Bush, multiple trunks .
As Auburn said they air layer easily , I use tree pots over sucker at ground level , so , about the same as mound layering , just in a pot. Easy

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