The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Varieties of hazelnuts

Eastern Filbert BlightMy primary question about hazels was --- is there a more prolific, cultivated variety that I should plant instead of the wild shrubs growing around my yard?

The answer is that here in the eastern U.S., we have both Beaked and American Hazelnuts, but both of these wild species produce small nuts in thick shells.  In contrast, all of the hazelnuts we buy in the store are a completely different species of hazelnut --- European Hazelnut --- which has big seeds and thin shells.

Unfortunately, we can't just grow European Hazelnuts here.  The European species is very sensitive to an American disease known as Eastern Filbert Blight, which you can see in the photo above.  If you try to grow European Hazelnuts in the eastern U.S., your shrubs will wither away.  Only American and Beaked Hazelnuts are able to resist the fungal infection.

Is there a solution to the small nut vs. dead shrub dilemma?  You bet!

This post is part of our Hybrid Hazelnut lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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that picture is really pretty, Anna.
Comment by MH Tue Aug 18 14:02:01 2009
I didn't take it, unfortunately. Click on the picture to find the source. :-)
Comment by anna Tue Aug 18 20:09:40 2009

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