The Hazelnut AKA Corylus avellana has been revered since pre-historic times when all parts of the plant were considered an essential tool for sorcerers and herbalists. These days they have a more uncomplicated delicious use in that they are an essential ingredient for confectionary. Hazelnuts are used in the manufacture of praline and chocolate products and you are no doubt familiar with the popular Hazelnut spread Nutella. They also taste great eaten fresh or roasted. Hazelnuts have been cultivated extensively since the 16th century with many new cultivars that we still grow today being developed in the 18th century. The nuts are full of protein, unsaturated fats, and Vitamins B and E and the really good news is that they are so easy to grow.
Situation - Hazelnuts like a sunny situation with good air circulation around the plants. Areas with cold winters suit them best.
Soil – Grow your Hazelnut in well drained acid soil if you can. As they are remarkably tolerant Hazelnuts will adapt to slightly less than perfect conditions.
Water – Hazelnuts do not like to completely dry out, especially in summer when an occasional deep watering may be required.
Feeding – Better nut production may be achieved with an annual side dressing of balanced fertilizer.
Cultivation – Hazelnuts must be planted with a pollinator close–by, see our separate Hazelnut pollination chart.
Pruning – Hazelnuts grow naturally as a large multi-branched shrub however they can be pruned into a single trunk if you wish to remove the lower branches.
Harvesting – Hazelnuts will take approximate 5 years from planting to start producing. The nuts are usually harvested after they fall naturally to the ground in the autumn. The actual ‘nut’ will fall out of the protective husk. The nuts can be eaten fresh or dried but they are best not stored for long periods.
Wairere Top Tip Hazelnuts can be ‘cracked’ easily by placing on a board under a paper-towel and given a good whack with a rolling pin.
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm