Saturday, June 25, 2011


Few things grow easily here in this red clay in Georgia. I have had some successes and a lot of failures. One of the successes has been the hazelnut bushes. I bought two bare root plants online 5 or 6 years ago (it may have been longer, I really don't remember) along with a lot of other bare root trees, most of which have died since then. For three or four years these were just cute little bushes beside the driveway, growing and spreading nicely. Then one year they produced their catkins for the first time. Hazelnuts produce thin, soft green cone like flowers in spring .  Hazelnuts do require cross pollination which is why I bought two of them in the first place. Hazelnuts are self-incompatible which means that like pollens will be incompatible and they cannot pollinate themselves. Hazelnuts are also deciduous and they require some cool weather in winter for them to break dormancy and produce flowers in the spring.  However they apparently don't need too cold a winter as we don't usually get below 20 F here in the winter. 
I have read that hazelnuts need a well drained soil but I can tell you now that this clay don't exactly drain real well and these two bushes are just thriving here. 
Hazelnut bushes grow by underground runners which can be cut and used to propagate more. I have not tried this myself since two bushes has been more than enough. 
Here are my hazelnuts forming now. They form in clusters of 4 or more nuts. 

Here you can see the hazelnut forming inside. 

When these are ripe they will turn brown and the hazelnut will fall out. Usually I pick them once they turn brown but have not yet fallen out. 
The hazelnuts I get from these are smaller than what you would get in the stores and are a bit harder to crack since they don't fit in a regular nut cracker. A bag and hammer usually will work just fine however.


  1. Very interesting! I had no idea where hazelnuts grew or how exactly! As a child, I remember in Kentucky, my Dad would go hunting and bring home hazelnuts in his pockets. Or maybe when he was just "running his dogs". I suppose they were wild.

  2. I really don't know how they would do in zone 5a, sorry, I don't know where that is but I think they can take pretty cold temperatures.
    We used to bring home black walnuts. At one time it was considered bad luck in New England to have a home without a black walnut so at least one was planted at each house and ours had one. Those were the ones we threw up on any tin roof to dry before cracking.

  3. Thaank you for lovely photo's of how Hazelnuts grow. I've never seen them growing. Mo

  4. Neat-o! I've never seen that before!

  5. Hello! Thanks for this information! I was reading back through your blog (I often read my favorite blogs on days when I hang around inside) and I saw this post. I get a thing in the mail from the Arbor Day foundation every year about a hazelnut project and offering to sell me some bushes. I have wondered how well they do. I think your soil sounds about like ours. I might just get some next time I get that offer in the mail. Thanks for sharing.