Photos: A New Crop of Hybrid Hazelnuts at Arbor Day Farm

Feb 02 by in General, Greenhouse, Hazelnuts tagged , , , , with 30 comments


We thought you might enjoy seeing what’s growing in the greenhouse at Arbor Day Farm. Right now, there are about 40,000 hybrid hazelnuts thriving in the greenhouse — the most our growing facilities have ever handled in one crop. Enjoy the photos!


hybrid hazelnuts, greenhouse, Arbor Day Farm

Hybrid hazelnuts thrive in the greenhouse at Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City. This photo shows about 40,000 hazelnuts.


Checking the hybrid hazelnut roots at Arbor Day Farm

Greehouse Manager Adam Howard checks the root system and structure on a hybrid hazelnut plant. A plant that easily releases from the growing tray indicates that the roots are strong and the plant is almost ready.


Hybrid Hazelnut Sprout at Arbor Day Farm

A good look at a hybrid hazelnut sprouting in the greenhouse.


Hybrid hazelnuts soaking in the sun

These hybrid hazelnuts soak up the warm afternoon sun in the greenhouse at Arbor Day Farm.


Color and texture of hybrid hazelnut leaf

Sun streaming into the greenhouse at Arbor Day Farm illuminates the distinct look of the hazelnut leaf.


Find more information about the Arbor Day Foundation’s hybrid hazelnut program online:

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  • Robert LaRouche says:

    I am engaged in neighborhood gardening program in St Louis –
    city plots developed for small groups of participants. Is there any way to consider or incorporate hazelnut propogation within cities, or tie your program into city farm products for local production of food and development of green space? I think your program has much urban potential.

  • Jennifer Svendsen says:


    Thank you for your interest in our hazelnut project. Hazelnuts are a wonderful crop and can be used for a variety of reasons, even in city spaces such as yours. To learn more about the benefits of hazelnuts and how you may integrate them into your neighborhood gardening program I would encourage you to visit the Arbor Day Foundation Hazelnut Consortium website at Here you will find out more information about our efforts as well as links to our blog where you can receive updates about our ongoing research. Additionally, in the news section you may read an article from our Jan/Feb Arbor Day newsletter about a member in Ohio who is working towards an endeavor similar to your own. If you would like, I would also be happy to mail you a hard copy of this article.

    Thank you again for your interest and please let me know if I can provide any additional assistance.

    Jennifer Svendsen
    Arbor Day Foundation
    Hybrid Hazelnut Project

  • Rick Palumbo says:

    I’ve ordered many trees from the Arborday Foundation and drink their Rainforest coffee. This fall I’m planting Hazelnuts.

    • Lied Lodge Blog says:

      Rick, thank you! That’s fantastic. We appreciate your support and please keep us posted on how the hazelnuts are doing. Thanks again!

  • Jen says:

    Hi Robert,

    There is a program called Victory Garden Initiatives in Milwaukee, WI that focuses on local food production within an urban setting. You might want to check them out at: You should also contact them and ask to speak with Gretchen. She can tell you more about their hazelnut seedling give-a-way and education efforts within their community.

    Thank you again!

    Jennifer Svendsen
    Arbor Day Foundation
    Hybrid Hazelnut Project

  • Paul Byorth says:

    The last Hazelnut trees I received had a brochure about the preparation of the nuts once picked. I have lost this sheet and do not find any reference that relates to the processing of these nuts as the sheet did. Please send a reference or a copy of that brochure (last spring). I have my first crop
    and the squirrels did not get these (two layers of nuts in a flat 12″x24″. They are shucked and ready for the next step.

  • Joel Rubin says:

    Your 3 hazelnut seedlings arrived here today (12/5/12). Winters here in metroBoston have been surprisingly warm these past years — today is in the 50s (over 10°C) I’m terribly worried about the winter moths that infest our trees these recent years, an alien invasive causing great damage to so many woody species. The males are flitting around by the 1000s. The flightless female moths climb trunks and stems, lay eggs in the buds and the inchworms eat their way out in the spring destroying flower and leaf. None of your previous hazel nuts set out last year survived this assault — I never got leaves. I’m considering keeping your new seedlings indoors under lights until the plague is passed mid-spring.I grow basil & avocado plants in nitrate-rich waste water from my fish tank trickling thru a plant tray filled with poly quilt batting that sits on top of the tank. Any opinion on keeping them indoors thru this 1st winter? They’d also probably be safe from the moths in the dark in my basement but its quite drying — 2 paw paws survived their 1st year that way in big pots and have been okay outdoors ever since — not what you’d think of as a northern plant.

    • Luke @ Arbor Day says:

      Thanks for your post Joel. i have not had much experience with the pest that you are dealing with. Your best would be to contact your cooperative extension office to see if they have any advice on how to control these pests. Here is a link to their web page:
      I would not recommend keeping your hazels inside over the winter.

    • Joel Rubin says:

      It’s as I feared. The winter moth larvae are out and about (little green inch worms, daily growing). They are devastating our little hazelnut seedlings — and they looked so promising at leafout. I pick and squish whenever I can — I f I didn’t, there wouldn’t be a leaf left.

    • Lied Lodge Blog says:

      Ugh, Joel! Sorry about the winter moths. Here’s hoping that your hazelnuts can somehow hang on… Good luck. By the way, what’s your location?

    • Joel Rubin says:

      Arlington, MA, southern exposure under a pine and unavoidably near mature Norway Maples that get hit hard by the winter moths (Operophtera brumata) but seem like they can take it. Apparently, the moths reached new England via Nova Scotia some time ago. They’re originally Eurasian. We’ve only seen them as a problem in the past few years or so. They do terrible things to my quince, cherry and crab apples in order of decreasing severity. I think Arbor Day Foundation should study this issue. Here’s the best article I’ve found so far:

  • Terry Dorr says:

    Do you have pictures or a pamphlet about what the blossoms look like and what to watch for. I have some hazelnuts that are about 5 years old but have not seen any nuts as yet. What should I be looking for? I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland so when should I be looking for something? I have a few of the trees that have long bean-like things hanging on them. What are these?

  • Bill Miller says:

    The hazelnut plants you sent me the last 2 falls haven’t survived the winter. I wonder if the roots are more delicate the first winter, and should be put in a root cellar until spring?

    • Luke@Arbor Day says:

      Bill- making sure that your hazelnut seedlings are adequately hydrated throughout the fall and into the winter is critical to their survival. I would not recommend storing your hazelnuts in a cellar or indoors. Make sure as soon as you get them they are planted promptly.

  • dianne johnsn says:

    can you confirm that, as I suspect, the hazelnuts will not survive this climate?

  • Luke@Arbor Day says:

    Dianne- Great question! The Arbor Day Farm Hazelnuts will tolerate cold weather conditions. They can survive down to a hardiness zone 3. Boulder, CO is rated as a hardiness zone 5-6. I think you should give them a try! Good Luck.

  • Sylvia Holmes says:

    Is it possible to acquire from you, 6 hazelnuts to germinage and grow in my own small unheated greenhouse open to e, south, & w. & built directly on top of our septic tank (that helps moderate cold). With enough biomass gal. jugs of water and a 50 gal. fishtank keep it at or just above the freezing mark most days, and in the 40′s to 70′s on sunny mild winter days. I would grow them deeply potted in self watering “patio boxes” moved outside early spring thru fall frosts. I would need time of planting instructions and soil/fertilizer requirements.

  • Luke@Arbor Day says:

    Sylvia- We would love to have you participate in the Hazelnut program, and you can enroll in the project by visiting this link:
    The hazelnuts that we have available are 1 year old seedlings. We send out dormant plugged versions (they have some soil around the roots in a plug mostly made of peat), when planting conditions are ideal. We recommend that the seedling get planted outdoors in the ground.

  • Rob Reiman says:

    Will the 3 Superior Varieties which were mentioned in one of the reports be the plant stock available this year? And when receiving the 3 research trees, will they be different varieties?

  • Connie Hicks says:

    Luke- I was thinking the same thing Rob was. Are the 3 plants all the same variety, or different for pollination? How much produce can be expected from 1 Arbor Day Farm Hazelnut plant? Is it a tree or shrub type? Are they bore and mite resistant also? Thank you.

  • Connie Hicks says:

    How much do they produce per tree? Or are they bushes? Are the 3 different for pollination? Will they grow in clay?

  • Luke says:

    @Rob- Actually the plants we produce are a blend of all three varieties (European, Beaked and American).

    @Connie- They do not require different pollinators. The three plants we provide will pollinate each other. Each shrub should produce about 3-5 lbs of nuts once mature (about 8-10 years). The form of these plants is shrub-like meaning it should form multiple stems and will reach a height of 8-10 ft tall.

  • Tina Gates says:

    I am hoping to plant hazelnut trees in an area of about 3/4 of an acre. It is a field that has lain fallow for two years. What do I need to do to prepare the ground before planting and when is the best time to plant.

  • Judith Williams says:

    Hi, I have,I believe, 2 American Hazelnuts that were rooted off the same parent tree. Planted in May 2011 & about 5′ tall. Both bloomed & catkin-ed profusely this year. I also have 2 large European Hazelnuts close by, a Barcelona & a Gamma. My question is – will these hybrids pollinate with my Americans & my Europeans or rather, I should ask, is the potential there for them to do so if the reciprocity of flowers/catkins coincide? Thank you very much.

    • Lied Lodge Blog says:

      Hi Judith, yes — our orchard manager says that all of your hazelnuts seem very likely to cross-pollinate with each other. We’d love to see photos if you want to send some in. Thanks for being in touch.

  • Gordon says:

    I have just sighed up to become a member and I was wondering if Hazelnuts respond to Mycorrhizal treatment or would it be a bad idea to try. I am looking forward to receiving my hazelnuts this fall, Thanks

    • Lied Lodge Blog says:

      Gordon, thanks for signing up to be a hazelnut member, and for submitting your question. Mycorrhizae naturally occurs in the soil. Depending on the microclimate, this could be in larger or smaller populations. There is no doubt that the presence of mycorrhizae in the root system improves water and nutrient uptake. I would suggest digging a test hole and looking close at the soil and trying to identify the presence of mycelium. This may or may not be attainable. Either way, I can say that it wouldn’t hurt anything to add a mycorrhizae product as long as you follow the product label carefully. Good luck! Let us know what you’re finding. Thanks again, Adam (greenhouse manager at Arbor Day Farm)

  • Gordon says:

    I have permission to grow some Hazelnut on a farm here in Carbon county Utah. The family had a garden in the area and the grapes had Bud Mites. This was over 20 rears ago.Could this be a problem for the hazelnuts? Are the hybrid nuts immune to Big Bud Mites? Thank you for any information.

    • Luke says:

      Great question Gordon! Bud mites can be a serious problem for hazelnuts. However, since so much time has passed since this area had bud mites I don’t think the hazelnuts are at high risk (the mites only have a yearlong life cycle). I think it would be wise to talk with a local professional about a management plan. You might start with your County Extension office to see what they would recommend. Here is the web address for UT County Extension office:

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