Hazelnut: planting maintenance pruning and harvesting

The hazel tree (Corylus), sometimes called Avelinier or Coudrieris a forest shrub that belongs to the family of Betulaceae. Depending on the variety, it can reach 3 to 8 meters in height. Easy to grow because it requires little care, this vigorous shrub is appreciated for its fruits, hazelnuts, which can be harvested from September. Used in isolation or in free hedge, the hazel creates a very pleasant shade. Here’s everything you need to know to plant, maintain and prune it properly. Let’s also take stock of its flowering.

Plant a hazel tree

This is between october and april but always out of frost period that one can plant a Hazel tree with bare roots. As for the Container Hazel, it can be planted at any time of the year. The shrub likes sunny and bright exposures, sheltered from the wind. He likes them cool soils, well drained, light and is less tolerant of heavy and overly wet soils.

The bare-root Hazel is planted within 6 days of purchase. We proceed as follows.

  • Dig a potet (square hole) about sixty centimeters in diameter and height.
  • Remove all stones and weed roots.
  • Take part of the extracted earth and mix it with a large handful of roasted horn.
  • Place this mixture in the bottom of the pot.
  • Enrich the rest of the soil with:
    • A handful of root stimulator fertilizer,
    • a shovel of vermicompost or other composted manure,
    • planting soil.
  • Put some of this improved soil in the hole.
  • Proceed :
  • Install the Hazel tree in the center of the planting hole, making sure that the collar is flush with the level of the ground (it must not be buried).
  • Backfill with the rest of the soil amended with fertilizer/manure/compost.
  • Pack well and form a bowl.
  • Water copiously. There are about fifteen liters of water per shrub.

After planting a Hazel tree, a small size should be carried out just above an outward-facing bud.

If you want to plant a hedge of bare root hazel trees, it is necessary to space the shrubs at least 150 cm from each other because they become bushy.

Caring for a hazel tree

Hazelnut is a vigorous, fast-growing shrub who is not not binding because he is satisfied with very little care.


Keep the soil cool for a few months after planting. When the reprise is proven, it is useless to continue watering, except in the event of lasting drought or heat wave of course.


Each year during the fall, it is welcome to make a addition of organic manure. This promotes fruiting, the soil being more fertile. In addition, this type of amendment makes it possible to preserve the acidity of the growing medium.

Pests and diseases

Hazel can be the target of different pests. Some aphids invade either the leaves or the shoots. The bud mite harms the development of buds while the balanin, also called hazelnut worm, attacks the fruits on which it feeds. We can also fear certain species of bugs such as the green wood bug which modifies the flavor of fruits, the kitten bug or the hazelnut bug.

Concerning the hazel diseases, we can especially fear cryptogamic diseases due to various pathogenic fungi. Anthracnose causes severe necrosis in the bracts but also in the hazelnuts which become unfit for consumption. Powdery mildew, botrytis, moniliosis are other possible diseases.

In any case, it is important to use natural solutions to treat a parasitized or diseased hazel tree. Pests should be removed manually if possible at the start of the infestation. But it is of course essential to immediately remove all affected parts then burn them. Note that the spray of a cupric mixture helps to fight against certain diseases of the Hazel tree.

When buying a Hazel tree to plant, it is of course advisable to opt for a tolerant variety.

Prune hazel

It’s necessary wait at least two years after planting to prune a hazel tree. During this period, the shrub branches naturally.

Pruning, which improves nut production, should take place in spring, in February or March. We are happy with:

  • Shorten bulky branches, especially those that grow in the heart of the tree. This allows the center of the antlers to be well ventilated.
  • Remove over-aged branches and dead branches.

For the Hazel tree to retain a harmonious habit and its silhouette to be sufficiently airy, the ideal is to keep only 12 to 15 branches at most. After a pruning session, it is recommended to put a baume or a mastic on pruning wounds to accelerate healing.

Flowering hazel

It is from the month of december that the Hazel can begin to flower, and the flowering continues until march. It is therefore one of the shrubs with early flowering. It is a species monoecious, that is to say that the same subject bears male flowers and female flowers. Its flowers, grouped in inflorescences, are therefore unisexual.

The first to appear are male flowers or catkins, with an average length of 8 cm spreading out in scaly yellow spikes. They begin to form in June. In autumn, they enter a dormant period which ends in mid-December. Begins the flowering of catkins whose scales open in order to release their pollen.

The female flowers or clusters, have the appearance of a bud surmounted by stigmas forming a sort of small red ear. When they are finally open, the wind takes care of the fertilization. This element is also essential for the Hazel tree to be able to bear fruit since it is anemophile.

It is therefore not insects that are responsible for ensuring the pollination of hazelnut trees. Moreover, it is a self-sterile species, cross-pollination between different varieties being essential for hazelnuts to be produced. Better that it does not rain excessively during this crucial period for the harvest of the following autumn because the rain prevents the dissemination of pollen by the wind.

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