Are you happy when you can grow something that you don’t have to buy? Do you like nuts? Do you like a quick return on investments in your gardening and tree planting? Then, you just may want to plant hazelnut trees! They are a versatile, tasty food with good nutrition. They are even thought to be a good cancer preventative food! Growing hazelnuts is a great source of protein when homesteading and they are also a great way of helping your animal friends. Here is how to plant a hazelnut tree and why it is a very practical, rewarding thing to do.
Planting Hazlenut Trees For Self-Sufficiency
Common Name: Hazelnut Tree or Hazel Plant or Hazels
Scientific Name: Corylus (deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere)
Hazelnuts Are Great For Aiding In Homestead Self-Sufficiency
- Yummy small, sweet nuts for wholesome and delicious and savory foods or deserts
- Native tree, Wildlife beneficial
- Bears fruit(nuts) within 3-4 years- FAST!
- Makes an attractive hedge row
- You only need two trees for them to pollinate each other
- Good for growing in Zones 4-8
- Attractive, growing as high as 18’ x a 12’ spread
Growing hazelnuts is a fantastic opportunity. Hazelnuts are great for homestead self-sufficiency because you can grow and harvest nuts at home without having to plant trees that will grow huge, and take years before they produce. In fact, hazelnut trees have a fast growth rate and the first hazelnut harvest can be expected within 2-5 years of planting. You can expect a decent size hazelnut crop by by year six or seven. Mature trees can produce up to 25 pounds of hazelnuts in a single year!
How Do Hazelnuts Grow
Hazelnuts or American filberts are native to the American Midwest, and grow in fertile, well drained soil. They are suitable to USDA zones 4 through 8. They make an attractive hedgerow or individual plantings that can produce heavily and consistently. The most important thing to know if you want to grow a hazelnut that produces nuts is that you need more than one tree. Hazelnut trees require cross pollination from a different hazelnut cultivar to produce a nut crop and trees need to be within about 65 feet of each other for cross pollination to take place. Consult your local nursery for different pollinating varieties of filbert hazelnut trees.
Hazelnut Plant Tutorial:
Hazelnut Tree Planting Materials-
- Space for at least 2 trees – grow them 20 feet between them and no farther 50 feet apart so they are not too close but close enough together to pollinate
- Full sun
- Well drained soil
- 2 plus saplings purchased from a supplier of native Hazelnut trees
- Garden Gloves
- Hose for watering
Instructions for Planting Hazelnut Trees:
When to plant a hazelnut tree–
Plant in late fall, when the tree is dormant, but it is not too cold for the roots to take hold of their new home.
Where do hazelnut trees grow–
Hazels grow best in Zones 4-8 which is most of the United States except for our hottest and coldest zones. Choose your locations with the above items in mind. Make sure your soil is well-drained and trees will get full sun.
How far apart to plant hazelnut trees–
Plant hazels about 20 feet apart. (At least 15 feet but no further than 50 feet.)
How to plant hazelnut trees
Dig the hole deep generously, making sure it is about twice as deep as the size of the root ball (the root ball is about the size of the container the plant is in). Keep the soil you remove digging easily accessible for refilling the hole.
If you are in doubt about the soil being well drained, you can test it once you have the first hole dug. Fill it with water, if it drains within an hour, it is sufficiently well-drained soil.
Refill the hole about 6 inches, loosening the clumps of soil as you push it back into the hole. You are making a soft, gentle “bed” to settle our sapling into. Remove your sapling from the container. You may want to use some clippers to cut it away from the plant, to avoid damage to the roots. Or you can do what I did and water the sapling, softening the soil and slide the sapling gently out of the container into the hole.
Then fill in the hole with the rest of the soil, loosening the soil clumps as you fill in the hole and bring the soil level up to the base of your tree. Water your newly planted tree with plenty of water, soaking it well enough to force out any air pockets. This is for the preservation of the roots.
Some foods you will be to able to make with your nuts in just a few years from now; roasted hazelnuts, hazelnut milk, hazelnut butter add to granola and home made granola nut bars, baking and confections. This is the nut, that after all, makes the famous confection called Nutella. (affiliate link)
The Health Benefits Of Hazelnuts
There are many health benefits of including hazelnuts as part of your well balanced diet.
Cardiovascular Benefits Of Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are rich in unsaturated fats, the kind that are actually good for the heart. Much of this fat is oleic acid, shown to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise the “good” HDL kind.
Studies have found that the alpha-tocopherol type of vitamin E hazelnuts are so rich in may cut the risk of bladder cancer in half. Additionally, the manganese so abundant in hazelnuts goes a long way in protecting the body from cancer. Manganese is a constituent of an antioxidant enzyme produced in the mitochondria of the cells to protect the body from cancer.
Hazelnuts are rich in magnesium and it plays an important role in regulating the amount of calcium that goes into and out of the cells of the body.
One cup of hazelnuts contains 86% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E. Vitamin E has been proven to protect skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, such as skin cancer and premature aging.
Bone and Joint Health
About two thirds of the magnesium the body uses goes towards building the structure and strength of the skeletal system. Hazelnuts are also rich in manganese, a mineral essential for the growth and strength of bones. Post-menopausal women are often deficient in manganese and can benefit from its ability to increase the density of bone, and fight osteoporosis.
The nervous system needs amino acids in order to function, and amino acids require vitamin B6. Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin B6, allowing the nervous system to operate optimally.
Digestive Tract Health
Hazelnuts are rich in manganese, which is an enzyme activator and a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It also promotes protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
High in B Vitamins
Hazelnuts are rich in vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and B9 (folic acid). Vitamin B aids in efficient protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Plant a hazelnut tree, watch them grow, fruit, pollinate, attract wildlife, make a lovely hedgerow or border and finally bare nuts that you can harvest. If you are not yet a self-sufficiency nut, hazelnuts just may convert you! There are so many benefits to growing hazelnuts and hazelnuts have so many health benefits. Grow and enjoy!
“I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley…” Song of Solomon 6;11