Members’ Hazelnuts: Now Growing
Late last summer, the Arbor Day Farm greenhouse staff reached out to a select group of Arbor Day Foundation members – specifically those who’d signed on to further the research of the hybrid hazelnut program.
We needed their help, and they didn’t disappoint.
First, a little backstory:
These members live all across the United States and already grow hybrid hazelnuts on their properties, reporting back to us regularly on the growth, production, and general health of their plants.
This valuable data allows the Arbor Day Foundation and the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium to continue the search for the “super hazelnut” – one that is well-adapted to a variety of climates, bears large, commercial-quality nuts, and is resistant to disease.
But this time we needed more than just their data. We needed their nuts!
In an effort to keep the gene pool flowing, we asked this select group of members to part with some of their hybrid hazelnuts when they harvested in late summer. The answer was a resounding “yes” from nearly every member we reached out to. With their approval, we mailed them a postage pre-paid box and a few simple instructions about what we needed. The first kits were back in our hands in a matter of days.
What came back to us was very interesting to see. Some hazelnuts were brown, some almost black, some reddish… some smaller, some larger… all of them healthy and key to keeping the research going.
With all the hazelnuts accounted for, the greenhouse staff then began the important work of preparing these nuts for planting: soaking in water, cold stratification, warm stratification, and finally – just last week – they’re ready for dirt.
We’re grateful to those Arbor Day Foundation members who have sent in their nuts; we hope you enjoy watching their progress in our greenhouse. We’ll check back in with the nuts in a couple weeks and show you the growth. Stay tuned!
For an illustrated look at how we’re continuing the search for genetically superior hybrid hazelnuts with Arbor Day Foundation members, check out the article in the January-February 2013 issue of Arbor Day newsletter (PDF).
The following photos were taken on February 1, 2013, in the Arbor Day Farm greenhouse — just two weeks after plant date. Note the growth so far:
The photos below were taken on February 2o, 2013 — just 33 days after planting. The hazelnuts are growing very quickly now!