The hazelnut or filbert bushes produced a nice crop this year. We have three plants. Two are the same age, with one over eight feet tall and the other languishing with no real growth and about two feet tall. I bought another hazelnut since it takes two to pollinate and I was afraid the little one would die. The new plant has put on good growth this season. I saved some human hair to place in muslin bags and hang on the little tree to try and keep the deer from nibbling it. That seemed to work last year. Once it gets big enough, the deer won’t be a threat anymore.
Most of the nuts are from the large bush. The tiny one made three nuts. The big one produced a solid dry quart of nuts in the shell. Hazelnuts form on the plant inside a large, feathery husk. There can be one to as many as five husks clumped together on one stem. The bigger the clump, the smaller the nuts. The husk is peeled away to expose the shell inside. The shell is cracked to get the nut meat. The raw nuts in the shell are usually dried for a time to age the meat. Freshly picked nuts have a higher moisture content and taste slightly different than dried nuts. I like them either way. Hazelnuts are my favorite. I’m excited to finally have decent nut production from my orchard!