Because hazelnuts are a long-term crop, selection of a main variety and its pollinizers are key and essential to a successful orchard. The timing of bloom must be matched between the main variety and the pollinizer variety. Ideal nut characteristics for the intended market must be considered. In B.C., new resistant/tolerant varieties may be in short supply when an entire industry is replanting. Limited stock of disease tolerant varieties means growers may need to order plants 1-2 years in advance of orchard establishment.
Field trials are ongoing to evaluate new varieties from Oregon, which are resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB). Use the links below to view current field trial results by organization.
When choosing a hazelnut variety, consider the following factors:
- The intended market – large fruit vs small fruit, quality of kernels
- Resistance or tolerance to EFB
- Winter hardiness of the wood and catkins
- Harvesting dates
When choosing a pollinizer, consider the additional following factors:
- Flowering characteristics –time of bloom and compatibility with main variety
- Disease tolerance
- Crop usage – in-shell or kernel market? A pollinizer should match the characteristics of the main variety, or it should be a distinctly different size for ease of separation
- Availability of planting stock
- Pollinizers should also be good nut producers to contribute to the total crop yield
Note: Hazelnuts are self-incompatible, i.e. they will not set nuts with their own pollen. They are monoecious, which means they have separate male and female flowers on the same tree.
Additional considerations when determining variety selection for hazelnuts:
- Check reliable information sources for any field trials of new varieties. Based on information available, identify the new varieties that yield the best performance and productivity.
- Analyze these varieties for any tree or nut characteristics that may affect performance and intended market requirements.
- Look for additional opinions from local growers, consultants and nursery tree suppliers. Also check if your intended processor has any specific variety preferences for processing and marketing.
- Identify those varieties that suit your proposed tree spacing and management system, as an example, upright varieties are necessary for close- planted orchards. This data is listed in table 2 (Growth habit/tree size vigor)
- Select as many varieties as is appropriate to effectively spread the risk and harvesting workload. Nut drop periods, which determine approximately harvest times, are listed on table (Approx. harvest day). Arrangement of varieties in the orchard or orchard design may influence the number of finally chosen varieties; see Orchard design section before completing your selection.
Note: Variety performance can vary significantly depending on environment, soils and management and thus it is difficult to accurately predict how a variety will perform in a new orchard. Yield performance in a properly managed field variety trial in the area is one of the main features used in selecting varieties in BC. Also, other varieties from Oregon (not listed here) may be available in BC. Check with your nursery or supplier.
Currently, in Canada there is an import ban on trees or cuttings from the United States. Tissue culture produced plants are exempt. At the time of printing, this phytosanitary requirement is maintaining by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and is under review. It is advisable to check with the BC Hazelnut Association on a regular basis as to the status of the review and with the Hazelnut tree nurseries (list below)
CFIA Directive: D-00-03: Import requirements from the United States and domestic movement requirements for material to prevent the introduction of Eastern filbert blight into British Columbia
Mosterman Plants Inc.
Contact person: Sylvia Mosterman
Mail address: 43583 Adams Rd. Chilliwack, BC V2R 4L1
Phone: 604 823 4713
Mountain View Acres
Contact person: Neil TeBrinke
Phone: 604 796 3437
Fraser Valley Hazelnuts LTD.
Contact person: Kevin Hooge or Don Hooge
Phone: 604 997 7811 (Kevin)/ 604 793 3064 (Don)