Filberts

Corylus species

Our filberts are easy to grow and very productive!

They make a great edible hedge. Filberts are by far the most important nut crop grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest. This small tree prefers our cool, wet climate. Filberts flower in mid-winter. The abundant male catkins make a showy display.

Humid, windy weather is ideal for distributing pollen to the tiny red female flowers. By the end of August nuts are ripe. They drop in September. USDA Zones 5-9 unless otherwise noted. We now offer new varieties that are immune to Filbert Blight. These include Jefferson, Santiam, Yamhill and Theta.

Useful Facts

Pollination: Two different varieties or seedlings of similar flowering period.
Hardiness: European Filbert flowers winterkill at -15 F. Others are hardier. See Sun or shade: Prefers full sun in the maritime for maximum nut production, though it can take partial shade. Prefers partial shade in very sunny, hot climates.
Plant spacing: Single trees 15-20 feet; hedge plantings 3 to 5 ft.
Bearing age: 2 to 3 years

How to Grow

Soil requirements: Prefers slightly acid soil around 6.5 pH; does best in fertile soil with good drainage, but is widely adaptable.
Cultural requirements: Plant in late winter or early spring. Late spring plantings grow less initially and require more watering.  The ripeness of a filbert can be determined by pushing on the nut in the husk. If it will turn in the husk then nut and husk have separated, and though it may be still a little green, it is as ripe as it will get and can be picked before the birds or squirrels get it. It will continue to color after being picked.
Pests and diseases: European Filberts are susceptible to Eastern Filbert Blight, a fungal bark disease spreading in commercial filbert growing areas. Our plants come from inspected stock grown far from infested areas. The home grower can plant filberts unless next door to infected filbert orchards. Our region’s wild hazel nut does not carry the disease. The disease is carried by eastern wild hazels and gardeners in the east shouldn’t plant European filberts if they live next to wild hazel bushes. To control filbert blight, burn any infected branches. Control in the home orchard by spraying copper and dormant oil together at bud break in late March and again in mid April and early May. Or plant resistant varieties.

How to Use

In the landscape: Its tendency to sucker profusely makes it an excellent candidate for a fast growing hedge or screen plant.  Space 3-4' apart for a hedge planting. Tree hazels and trazels do not sucker.
In the kitchen: Bake with squash, casseroles, in vegetable pie; mince and add to cookies or candies. Crushed filberts make a great pie crust without any other ingredients. Filberts store for over a year. They are a concentrated protein source.