I have two hazelnut bushes that are 4 or 5 years old but have never had nuts on them. I see little bloom-like things on them. What can I do to get them to bear?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Joyce: I apologize for the delayed response. Hazelnuts are also known as filberts. They prefer to grow in fertile, well-drained soil. They will not tolerate consistently wet conditions. It sounds like your plants are happy; do you know which variety of hazelnut you are growing? If you are growing the same variety this may be the problem. There are a few different kinds of hazelnuts, including some like the contorted filbert, that do produce nuts. Otherwise, the nut varieties need to be cross-pollinated. Hazelnuts have both male and female flower parts on the same plant but it is necessary to have at least two different varieties that bloom at the same time for pollination to occur. These plants are pollinated by wind, not by insects. For successful pollination the different varieties should be within 100-200 feet from one another. Your plants are old enough to produce nuts so I would suspect that it is a pollination issue. For more information on growing hazelnuts in Kentucky visit www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id77/id77.pdf.