Hazelnut, culture hazel

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The hazelnut (Corylus avellana), also called Waldhasel, is native to Central Europe since the last ice age. It has its natural range from Europe to Asia and from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle. The native wild uptake occurs in the low mountain ranges up to 900 meters and in the Alps up to 1,700 meters in height. The hazelnuts have probably already served the Stone Age people as an important high-fat winter food. The fruit varieties, also called cultural hazelnut, were already known to the Greeks and Romans. In Germany they are cultivated since the Middle Ages, whereby the commercial cultivation in Central Europe is uneconomical because of the irregular harvests. This is mainly due to the early flowering in February / March, because late winter frosts can damage the kittens and female flowers.

Appearance and growth

The wild hazelnut is a deciduous, up to seven feet high, multi-stemmed shrub and grows mainly in hedges and at forest edges. The male kittens often begin to "dust" as early as January or February and, to the chagrin of many allergy sufferers, release entire clouds of pale yellow pollen, which the wind distributes. From pollination to the first discernible fruit batch, a whole six months pass. Only in August and September do the fruits suddenly start to grow rapidly. Hazelnuts are the small round seeds. The maturing nut lies in a cup-like pericarp with serrated edges, the so-called Cupula. This dries with increasing maturity and finally releases the nuts.
The rounded and roughly doubly toothed alternate leaves reach a diameter of ten centimeters. The hazel is cultivated not only for its fruits, but also for its rod-like shoots traditionally used for basketry and fence production.

Lamb's nut (Corylus maxima)

Lambsuts can be recognized by the long pericarp

The cultivar varieties are divided into four groups: the lamb's nuts, the cell nuts and the hybrids between the two groups, the Lamberts hybrids and the Zeller hybrids. Clear distinguishing features are the fruit shells. In the case of the lamb's nut they are tubular and longer than the fruit; in the case of the walnuts, the casings are two-leaved and shorter than the nut. Lamb's nuts are best in terms of taste. Altogether there are about 100 different types of fruit from the Kulturhasel.

Location and ground

The hazelnut needs a sunny place for a rich flowering and fruiting approach. In the shade, the harvest is usually sparse and the nuts remain smaller. Hazelnuts also have relatively high demands on the soil: they require a deep, humus-rich and moderately moist soil. Although they are quite adaptable overall, unfavorable soil conditions lead to low yields and weaker growth. In low mountain ranges, the shrubs can grow up to 500 meters high, but prefer higher humidity and coastal areas.

Planting and care

The planting distances for hazelnuts in the row should be three to four meters, from row to row four to six meters. On very good soil you should choose larger distances, on lighter soil you can also plant tighter. If only a closed screen is to be created, a distance of two meters is preferable. In the planting of individual shrubs, the planting pit should be about 50 by 50 inches tall and 40 inches deep. Hazelnuts are rooted flat so you should not plant them too deeply. After planting, the soil is well absorbed and the soil of the tree disc should be covered with foliage compost. The best planting time is the month of November.
Fertilize especially young plants rather sparingly, otherwise they grow too strong. The wood is then less frost hardy and you have to wait much longer for the first harvest. A composting in spring is completely sufficient for nutrient supply. In addition, the hazelnut does not require much care: one should only water the shrub with lasting drought well, so that the semi-ripe fruits are not discarded prematurely.


A hazel bush grows up to seven meters high and four to five meters wide. Uncut specimens are becoming denser, and because only little light gets inside, they barely make any nuts. Regularly remove all overaged branches close to the point of attachment and allow the same number of strong shoots to stand. Thin and far from the shrub center growing rods are best torn out in the summer, as long as they are still green and soft. If the Auslichtungsschnitt was missed, you put the shrubs back on the stick.This is the knee-high cutting of all rods. Hazelnuts can handle the radical pruning effortlessly, but it will take two to four years to wait for the next harvest.
In the case of the foot stems, which are widespread in the cultivation of cultivation, one also regularly removes the outdated shoots and makes sure that the crowns do not become too dense.

Hazelnut cut

The hazelnut is well cut compatible


The hazel is monoecious, that is, male and female flowers are present on an individual separately. The kitten, which thrives in winter and early spring, is bright yellow and up to six inches long. The female flowers are reddish and stand upright, but they are very small and inconspicuous. Pollination is mainly caused by the wind. All culture hazels are foreigners, so you should plant at least two varieties that flower at the same time. If you do not have enough space, you have to rely on growing wild threshing around to take on this task.

Hazelnut flowers

A hazelnut branch with male and female flowers

Yields are generally higher when two shrubs are in close proximity. In some hazelnuts, the decorative value outweighs the benefits, such as the red-leaved blood hazel (Corylus maxima 'Purpurea').


There are the from the domestic Waldhasel descending Zellernüsse with round to slightly flattened nuts and short, open Fruchhüllen. These include the varieties 'Roman Nut', 'Hallesche Giant' and 'Wonders of Bollweiler'.

Hazelnut cell seed

Zellernuss 'Wunder von Bollweiler'

An alternative is the cylindrical Lamb's Nuts (Corylus maxima) with long, closed at the top bracts that form a "beard". The core skin is smooth and free of a fibrous layer. The varieties 'Lambert Filbert', 'Bandnuss' and 'Weiße Lambertsnuss' belong to this group. In the case of breeds such as 'red lamb's walnut' or 'Webb's prize nut', the nuts must be released by hand, but the kernels are particularly large and taste unsurpassed nutty.
The Lamberts hybrids are intersections of Lamberts and Cinnamon nuts and show a variety of transitional features, but more similar to the Lamb's Nuts. The ripe nut dissolves more easily from the shell than the lamb's nut. Popular is 'Nottingham's Fertile'. The group characteristic of the Zeller hybrids are the two bracts, of which the lower half is reminiscent of the Lamberts, the upper of the cellern nuts. These include 'Cosford' and 'English Zeller'.

Harvest and recovery

The hazelnut harvest begins in early September. Only mature nuts should be harvested by shaking the stems, as early harvested hazelnuts will shrink and not last long. Usually after two or three shakes at a distance of about three days, the harvest is over. After collecting, the nuts are freed from the rest of the bracts and spread out in a breezy dry room on wooden grates to dry. In a cool dry storage room, they are preserved in the shell for up to twelve months. From the sixth year, a cultural hazel brings about two kilos of nuts.
Shortly after the harvest, when the skin shines as if oiled, and the dark brown skin covering the seeds is still soft and tender, hazelnuts taste particularly mild and aromatic - much better than the superimposed goods from the supermarket. Hazelnuts can be processed in many different ways. In addition to the fresh consumption, they are mainly used in cakes, pastries and cereals.


The propagation of cultivated hazel varieties is usually only vegetative by lowering. In autumn or in spring, a long one-year shoot is turned down and a drive section is laid in a gap previously cut by the spade so that the shoot tip protrudes as vertically as possible. If necessary, the lowered shoot is fixed at its lowest point with a tent-hook in the ground. After rooting, the new plant can be detached from the parent plant.
Increasing distribution is the propagation by refining: In addition, one grafted in the spring of a scion of culture Hazel on a seedling of tree hazel (Corylus colurna). Depending on the level of refinement, it forms a more or less long stem. The so refined cultivated hazel produce higher area yields than shrubby growing specimens, as one can plant them more closely in the plantation. Of course you can also let nature take its course and leave the propagation and distribution to different species of birds and squirrels. Especially squirrels bury the nuts as winter stock and then often do not find the hiding places again. The sown plants, however, usually do not have the favorable properties of high-yielding and large-fruited cultivars.


Hazelnut drill (Curculio nucum)

Diseases and pests

The most common pest is the hazel drill with its curved trunk. Among other things, it feeds on the leaves of the hazel. But worse are his larvae, which eat the nuts from the inside empty. An infestation is easily recognizable at the circular borehole.Prevention: Collect hollow nuts and dispose of them. You can fight the beetle with single-stemmed hazelnuts, among other things well with glue rings. On the leaves occasionally powdery mildew occurs, but does not cause much damage. Other diseases and pests play hardly any role - but you have to harvest the ripe nuts in time, if you do not want to leave them to the squirrels, dormice and other nut thieves.

Video Board: Hazel nut pine.

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