Anyone have experience with Turkish Tree Hazel?

nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)August 1, 2010

I'm thinking about adding a few to my next order from Burnt Ridge Nursery, having had very good luck with my previous order of fruit trees from them this spring. Has anyone here grown these in their yards, or observed mature specimens in parks or other people's property? I'm removing a dozen silver maples from my property to create an edible/wildlife garden landscape, and a few tree-sized hazels in the mix sounds like a perfect match for my needs.

I'm interested in growth rate, winter hardiness, and edibility of the nuts they produce. Thanks!

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Fairly fast-growing (~40-50cm/year), with a good strong straight main leader and narrow conical crown (almost like a spruce or fir!) when young; broader with age. Interesting soft corky bark.

Not sure I'd rely on it being zone 4 hardy - I'd have said zone 5, to be safe. Maybe even 6.

Forget the nuts for edibility - the shells are twice as thick as ordinary hazelnuts (i.e., they're really tough nuts to crack), and the kernels proportionally smaller. Also very tedious to extract the nuts from the involucres.

Young tree:


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 6:58PM
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I've been growing one for about five years now with no dieback issues. Hasn't been real fast; about the same as Ginkgo for me. There's a beautiful mature specimen at the U of Wisconsin arb in Madison.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 7:12PM
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nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

Thanks to you both. I'll probably give them a try; Burnt Ridge sells them for $6 each so I can drop $20 on an experiment and not hate myself.

Does anyone know if they can handle a bit of shade? I want to remove every silver maple on our property, but the wife wants to keep a few so our yard doesn't turn into a football field. I'll be interplanting them between the existing maples along with some Oikos hybrid chestnuts and hybrid oaks I already have in pots, with maybe a few seedling apricots, black locusts and black cherries thrown in.

The growth rate doesn't bother me too much; I'm still young and my wife and I plan on living here for good so I can wait. Also, we are probably borderline 4/5 now that the winters have become so mild. Ah well, if the nuts aren't edible I'm sure the squirrels will like them. And then I just hunt the squirrels instead :-)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:49PM
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dwk001(z5 IL)

Here in the Chicago area, Japanese beetles do munch readily on Turkish hazel leaves. Don't know what basic's experience in MN has been, but I know Japanese beetles are present in your state.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 10:38PM
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arbordave (SE MI)

Based on my observations I'd say they should handle light shade OK. The trees I've seen have been slow growing - comparable to ginkgo as basic mentioned. The nuts are indeed hard to crack, but I have sampled a few and they are definitely edible. Hardiness hasn't been a problem here in SE Michigan, but I have seen dieback from some type of canker that occasionally attacks the main stem of smaller trees. Basal suckering is also fairly common, possibly related to rootstock compatability problems (I'm guessing they are often budded onto C. avellana rootstock). If you are getting seedling trees this shouldn't be an issue.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 6:39PM
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So? How are everybody's hazels doing? I'm about to send in an order for 10 of them to line the South side of my driveway. I'm thinking of a 20' spacing, but am wondering how many years that will look like a forlorn planting. :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Hazels, what are hazels. Do you mean the topic of this post, Corylus colurna? Or do you mean native hazels (C. americana), or the European Hazel (C. avallana), or one of the many hybrids? Each has their good points. If you mean the Turkish Hazel, I'll have to pass because I don't grow them. If you mean the others, I could tell my experiences. Not trying to be smarmy, just asking for a little clarification.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:50PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I bet this tree would be planted more if it had fall color

Yes it's definitely a slower grower around here. Nice formal habit

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:01PM
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They grow well in PEI. Mine are still young, but the nuts are tasty. I bought a few nuts and ate some before planting the rest, and they are good.....thicker shells but OK in a hand nut cracker and quite variable as to flavour. They appear resistant to eastern filbert blight too, as I have lost avellana hybrids to the blight here, but not the Turkish ones.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:48AM
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They're fine in zone 5 here (Kingston, Ontario)...the University has 30-40 yr old ones that have a very nice broad conical shape @ 35' tall.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:27AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I did not know this tree until I saw them planted as street trees in Kensington, London. Very attractive. They were leafless but I found a squashed nut casing on the ground and put a picture here where they were very quickly ided. If you only know hazel bushes like Corylus avellana, C colurna comes as a bit of a surprise.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Maybe the chinese tree hazel, Corylus chinensis, is hardier, or at least better suited for the climate of eastern USA?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:55PM
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