The American Hazelnut (also known as the American Filbert) is a native shrub of the eastern United States. If you want to attract wildlife, the nuts produced by this shrub are preferred by squirrels, deer, turkey, woodpeckers, pheasants, grouse, quail and jays. The male catkins are a food staple of Ruffed Grouse throughout the winter. The tasty nuts are highly prized by cooks for their easy-to-crack shells and small, sweet kernel. They add a wonderful flavor to many desserts and sweet breads. Hazelnut hedges can be used as windbreaks, visual screens, and to attract wildlife. Deciduous. Rounded shrub. Approximately 20 – 30 pounds of nuts at maturity.
If you’re interested in planting hazelnuts for their nuts, be sure you have a bit of space. You’ll need to plant 2 or more shrubs to ensure a good crop. This shrub grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13″ to more than 24″ per year. Prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. The American Hazelnut grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It is drought-tolerant. Will begin producing nuts approximately 2-3 years after planting. Should be planted in multiples (2 or 3) to ensure cross-pollination.