Corylus avellana, better known as the common hazelnut and more rarely aveline, is a shrub fruit tree that is very interesting for its blond or green hazelnuts.
Corylus avellana facts
Name – Corylus avellana
Family – Betulaceae
Type – fruit shrub
Height – 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained
Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – February to April
Harvest – fall
Planting Corylus avellana
It is preferable to plant your Corylus avellana in fall to promote root development before winter.
But you can also plant it in any other season of the year, as long as you avoid high temperatures in summer and cold winter freezing.
It is critical that you plant 2 different varieties together to ensure fertilization and fruit-bearing. Check when purchasing your hazelnut trees that they belong to different species.
- This is an important step, so diligently follow our advice on planting shrubs.
- A Corylus avellana can be propagated through cuttings or layering young growth.
Pruning and caring for Corylus avellana
Note that pruning isn’t really needed, but pruning at the end of winter, and keeping the Corylus avellana reasonably sized will increase the harvest.
- Cut back new growth by half in order to restrain growth of the hazelnut tree to a height of about 6 or 6 ½ feet (1.8 to 2 meters).
- Eliminate dead wood and branches over 10 years old.
- Generally speaking, hazel doesn’t like severe pruning, better to prune only part of the tree every year.
If you wish to cut the tree back drastically, or prune the tree severely to even out the branches, never do it before the blooming which takes place from winter to spring, or else you won’t have any hazelnuts.
The hazelnuts are ready to be harvested when the fruit detaches from the branch and falls to the ground.
Nut weevil, how to treat against it
The hazelnut weevil or Curculio nucum enters the hazelnut and eats it up entirely.
That makes for quite a bad surprise when you realize your hazelnut is hollow!
- Nut weevils spend winter underground.
- Since they don’t like the cold, simply scratch and turn the surface of the soil to bring them to the surface.
- As soon as it freezes, the pest will die and you should be rid of it…
Learn more about Corylus avellana
The name Corylus comes from latin root corulus, which is how the Romans called the hazelnut tree. That in turn came from earlier Greek Korus, which means “helmet”, because the cupula or hulls that surround the edible part of the nut look like a tiny finger helmet.
Corylus avellana must be planted together with another Corylus avellana so that hazelnuts may appear, this is necessary for fruit formation since a tree cannot self-pollinate.
So set it up in a shrub bed, or add it to your hedge, that will make your hedge even more ornamental and especially, productive!
Hazelnuts are always harvested in fall but even if hazelnuts are themselves the prime appeal of this large shrub, it also has a definite ornamental value thanks to its delicately formed colorful leaves.
Smart tip about Corylus avellana
Remove suckers that grow from the base often to maximize productivity and ensure your Corylus avellana retains a beautiful bearing.
Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Corylus avellana fruits on branch shared by Myriams-Fotos under © CC0 1.0
Corylus avellana catkins shared by Hans under © CC0 1.0
Bunch of hazelnuts shared by Broesis under © CC0 1.0