Hazelnuts, commonly called Filberts, take 4 to 5 years to get into full production. Once mature they produce about 20 pounds of shelled nuts per tree.
Plant hazelnuts in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil. Trees should be spaced 12 to 15 feet apart with not more than 100 ft between trees for best pollination. Plant the top of the root mass just at grade with enough soil mounded to cover roots. It is important to keep weeds and mulches well away from the trunk.
Walnuts are much larger trees, but still wind pollinated. Plant walnuts at least 25 feet apart; as they are reasonably self-fertile, they can be more widely separated.
Hazelnuts and walnuts both benefit from a fruit tree-type fertilizer in April. Nitrogen is the primary nutrient needed, but phosphorus and potassium are also important, so use a fruit tree fertilizer or balanced fertilizer (like a 5-5-5).
Hazelnuts tend to have a bushy habit. In late winter to early spring, prune all suckers every year, as they are not productive. Prune to create an open center and remove all downward curving branches.
Walnuts need selective pruning to develop 3 to 5 larger “heads” – upright branches that form the crown of the tree. These crown heads should only need pruning every few years, by heading them back to encourage vigorous new growth.
Pests and Diseases
The hazelnuts we stock are resistant or immune to filbert blight, but can sometimes develop other fungal or bacterial diseases. Walnut trees may get a bacterial blight as well.
Use copper to prevent or reduce these diseases – in late fall or early winter (after harvest but before flowers) for hazelnuts and in late winter (just before and just after bloom) for walnuts. Minor leaf-feeding insects are easily controlled with pyrethrin or neem; the more serious filbertworm (hazelnuts) and husk fly (wlanuts) can be controlled with Spinosad insecticides in May and June.
Walnuts are partially self-fertile, but will produce better when more than one tree is present (even of the same variety).
Pollination for hazelnuts is complex. Hazelnuts are wind pollinated, and bloom over a very long period in the winter – so it is important to have a diversity of varieties in relatively close proximity to ensure pollination. Select a production variety, and ideally two pollinator varieties – an early and a late respective to the main variety’s bloom time. Male and female flowers are produced at different times; being listed as a pollinizer for a variety does not guarantee that it also receives pollen from that variety. Due to the complexity of pollination research may be required to find the best match, but see the variety descriptions for some suggestions.
Epsilon – Pollinator variety, late pollen over a long season. Medium sized nuts. Smaller tree.
Pollinizes: Yamhill, Eta, Theta
Receives pollen from: Yamhill, Gamma (early) and Eta, Theta (late)
Eta – Pollinator variety, late pollen over a long season. Medium sized nuts. Smaller tree.
Pollinizes: Jefferson, Theta, Epsilon
Receives pollen from: Yamhill, York, Jefferson (early) and Epsilon, Theta (late)
Gamma — Pollinator variety, mid-season pollen. Medium nuts. Larger tree – 15 ft or more.
Pollinizes: Yamhill, York, Epsilon
Receive pollen from: Yamhill, Sacajawea (early) and Jefferson, York (late)
Jefferson – Production variety, heavy producer of medium to large nuts. Late blooming.
Pollinizes: Yamhill, York, Gamma, Eta, Theta
Receives pollen from: York (early) and Eta, Theta (late)
Sacajawea – Production variety, moderate production but excellent quality. Mid-season pollen.
Larger tree – 15 ft or more.
Pollinizes: Gamma, York
Receives pollen from: Yamhill (early) and York (late)
Theta – Pollinator variety, late pollen over a long season. Medium sized nuts. Larger tree – 15 ft or
Pollinizes: Jefferson, Eta, Epsilon
Receives pollen from: Jefferson (early) and Epsilon, Eta (late)
Yamhill – Production variety, large nuts produced on a heavy yielding tree. Early pollen.
Pollinizes: Sacajawea, Gamma, York, Eta
Receives pollen from: Gamma (early) and Epsilon, Jefferson, York (late)
York – Pollinator variety, long bloom and mid-season pollen. Medium sized nuts. Smaller tree.
Pollinizes: Sacajawea, Yamhill, Jefferson, Gamma, Eta
Receives pollen from: Yamhill, Gamma, Sacajawea (early) and Jefferson (late)
SOME SUGGESTED HAZELNUT GROUPINGS:
Jefferson – York – Eta
Yamhill – Gamma – York
Sacajawea – Yamhill –York
Jefferson – Eta – Theta
Yamhill – Epsilon – Theta
Cascade Walnut – Large excellent quality nuts with great flavor. Ripens late September- mid October. Self-fertile. Large tree – 20 ft or more.