I've got about 15 hazelnuts that I planted on my property about 10-12 years ago. I originally started with 10 that I bought from one of the plant suppliers (I think that it was Gurney's).
Hazelnuts can be pruned to grow as a single small tree (about 15-20 feet high) or as a multi-stemmed shrub. After mine had grown for about 3 or 4 years as small trees, I let some of the root produced sprouts grow large enough for me to seperate them from the orignal trees and transplant them as new plants. Out of the 10 original plants 9 of them survived and all five of my transplants also survived.
The plants that I pruned to remain as single trunked trees definitely produce fewer nuts than the ones that I allowed to spread out and grow as multi-stemmed shrubs. At this point in time the 8-9 year old shrubs are all much shorter (7-8 feet tall) than the ones that I have pruned as tress (15-20 feet tall). The shrubs continue to spread as each year they send out new sprouts from their ever expanding root system. Some of the shrubs are now 3-4 feet in diameter at the base and 8-10 feet wide at their widest point.
I don't know if my soil, climate or variety is to blame but the nuts I get off of my hazelnuts are really too small to be of much value. Most years they are about half the size of the nuts that you can buy in the store and other years they are even smaller than that! Maybe every third year or so I'll get nuts that are actually worth picking and eating.
The japanese beetles love the leaves and it is necessary to watch out for them and spray for them when the beetles are in the area. I've also had trouble with whitetail deer bucks. They REALLY like to rub their antlers on them when they need to get the velvet off. Each year their are numerous branches broken and rubbed barkless by the deer in my yard. They do however make for a good ambush location when the shrubs still have leaves on them in the early archery season. The other pest in my area associated with hazelnuts are the squirrels. If you want any nuts off of the trees you must stake a claim and somehow keep the critters away. My reccomendation is a 12 ga. with #6 shot (I got 14 of the little buggers in 3 days.)
[size="1"][ January 02, 2007, 01:53 PM: Message edited by: carbide ][/size]
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