Hazelnut trees should be planted in the fall or late winter/early spring, depending on the region of BC. They should be planted no deeper than they were planted in the nursery or in the pot. If planted more than 2.5 cm deeper than in the pot, the following year’s growth will be stunted while the tree grows its roots towards the surface. There is a marked color difference on the trunk and this habit may become permanent and also lead to infections below the soil surface. Plant the tree in a hole that is 46 – 61 cm in diameter, and 25-30 cm in depth. Create a mound of soil at the bottom of the hole to support the tree, and account for settling of the plant over time.
1. Planting by Shovel
Planting by shovel is the preferred method as it will enable the hole edges to be less compacted and allow for easier root penetration. This is especially ideal if planting conditions are wet.
2. Planting by Auger
Planting by auger tends to compact the soil edges of the hole, especially when planting in wet conditions, or when there is high clay content. An auger can smooth the sides of the hole creating a barrier that young roots have trouble penetrating. A bolt or similar can be attached to the side of the auger blade to tear up the sides to improve root penetration.
While backfilling the hole around the tree, soil must be loosely applied while tapping it around the roots. Do not compact the soil in around the roots, as hazelnut roots need good aeration, and otherwise the roots can be compromised if planted too deeply.