Hazel trees, also called filbert, are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8.When growing hazelnuts in the coldest part of this range, choose American hazelnuts, which are more cold-tolerant than European varieties. Yes, hazelnuts grow in Southern Appalachia. I have found several wild trees that grow along the road where I live (west of Boone NC) and have planted 17 hazel trees from the Arbor Hazelnut Initiative. Some of the shrubs haven't produced many, if any, nuts (a couple are still too young), but I've harvested at least half of them annually.
This year, I discovered 5 seedlings in other parts of my garden, probably but buried by squirrels and forgotten. I have also grown seedlings from some of my trees that produce well. When growing hazelnuts, they can withstand a bit of shade, especially in hot and dry areas. They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day to produce well.
The shadier the location, the less fruit the tree will produce. In Utah, hazelnuts grown for nut production are generally kept as shrubs, with an oval or round shape that grows up to 15 feet tall and wide. Hazelnuts thrive in loamy, well-drained soils, but they grow in many types of soil as long as the soil is well-drained. Nut production is best when cross-pollinated with another variety of the same species (see Table 1) and/or with other plants grown with seeds of the same species.
The dominant characteristic controlling the distribution of commercial hazelnut production in the United States is the moderate climate of the coastal valleys of the Pacific Northwest, which is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Virtually all hazelnuts commercially produced in the United States are grown in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 99% is grown in Oregon's Willamette Valley, with Washington producing the remaining 1%. Pacific Northwest production accounts for 3 to 5% of world hazelnut production.
The ideal climate for growing hazelnuts is one with cold summers and winters. Don't worry, the word “tree” is a technicality here; hazelnuts are usually grown as a bushy shrub and can be maintained to a very manageable size by pruning. Since they are quite compact and can be easily pruned, they are a great option if you don't have a lot of space to grow trees. Although European hazelnut with its large nuts is very common commercially, this species blooms earlier than others and flowers are more likely to be damaged or destroyed by the unusually seasonal cold.
Like many walnut trees, hazelnuts can also be attacked by root rot, powdery mildew, bacterial blight and cancers. I haven't been able to find any forum or blog about anyone growing them in the southeastern states. Charred fragments of hazelnut shells were found in many Stone Age sites (8000—2700 BC). C.) in what is now Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Hazelnuts prefer well-drained soil that is fairly low in nutrients; too rich soil produces abundant leaf growth at the expense of flowers and nuts. So if you've been looking for a good source of healthy food to grow in your garden that doesn't take up much space and that you can start enjoying in a few years, hazelnut is the perfect option. Hazelnut is susceptible to a fungus known as eastern filbert blight, which has decimated orchards in the Pacific Northwest. You will receive a young plant, which is true to its shape (it will turn into a fruiting tree) and you will gain an advantage over a tree that grows from seeds.
Dorris also gave the first speech on hazelnuts presented in the Pacific Northwest at the 1914 meeting of the Oregon Horticultural Society. Consider higher amounts of NPK in your fertilizer when hazel bush leaves are yellow or when you experience slow growth. Once in the ground, they will dig and spend the winter, and they will reappear in the spring to lay eggs on the hazelnuts. .