Growing Hazelnuts at the Allotment

Growing Hazelnuts at the Allotment

Hazelnuts are grown on Corylus trees and bushes; most commonly the Cobnuts and the Filberts. The trees and bushes are a stunning addition to any plot or garden with its array of leaf colours before forming the fruits for harvesting in the autumn.

Hazelnut trees and bushes are usually grown from bareroot trees that should be planted when it is dormant during late autumn to early spring if the soil is not waterlogged or frozen. Plant the trees in a sunny or part-shaded position. They are not too fussy about soil quality and can tolerate poor soil if it drains well. Hazelnut trees and bushes are wind pollinated and come in male and female varieties. You can also buy pot grown plants to grow on, which can be planted any time of the year.

Plant the trees and bushes in a hole large enough for the bareroot and water in well. Remove any vegetation from the base of the tree or bush. You can mulch around the base to retain moisture and deter weed growth.

Until the tree or bush is established, they will require regular watering. The Hazelnut tree or bush will flower during the early part of the year; January-March.  Bees particularly like the catkins and flowers that are produced. 

It will be a few years before you are able to harvest any nuts but once it does start, you will have a great glut of nuts each year with little maintenance required to the established tree or bush.

The trees and bushes form husks or also known as burrs, where the fruits form and they will be ready to harvest in early autumn; September-October when the husks start to turn yellow. They will mainly fall to the ground naturally for harvesting.

Be aware of squirrels and other wildlife who love nuts too!

Pruning to reduce congestion is best done when the catkins are releasing their pollen during the winter. Summer pruning can also be done by bending and snapping the side shoots of this season's growth, to offer the tree or bush more exposure for female flowers to form. This will help it increase the crop.

Once, the husks are harvested, remove the nuts from their casing and evenly dry out for a couple of days. The Hazelnuts can be eaten raw or roasted. oven roast the nuts evenly until the papery skins easily remove from the nut.

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Growing Hazelnuts in Summary

Planting Hazelnuts

  • Plant dormant bareroots late autumn-early spring
  • Plant pot grown plants any time of the year
  • Plant in a sunny or part shaded position

Growing Hazelnuts

  • Prune established trees and bushes in winter
  • Water regularly until it is established
  • May require protection from frosts and pests

Harvesting Hazelnuts

  • Husks/Burrs turn yellow, brown and fall off the tree/bush in early autumn
  • Store to dry out for a couple of days
  • Can be eaten raw or roasted and can be stored.