How to Grow Hazel Nut Trees


The hazelnut is considered a shrub by some, and a small tree by others, although they can grow to a height of up to 15 feet. The hazelnut is often referred to as a "filbert." In the fall, the tree or shrub can turn to a beautiful red. Hazelnut trees can survive temperatures up to -20 degrees F, and adapt to many different soil types, which makes it a popular choice for landscapers in many different environments. Whether you want to grow a hazelnut tree for its nuts or for its aesthetic properties, there are a few basic guidelines that will help you grow the tree successfully.

Step 1

Soak the roots of the hazelnut sapling in a bucket of water and some transplant solution. Transplant solution can be purchased from lawn and garden centers or nurseries. Follow package directions regarding the amount to use for the size of your bucket. The roots only need to soak for 30 minutes to an hour before planting.

Step 2

Dig a hole for the sapling that is just big enough to comfortably fit the roots of the tree. Put equal amounts of dirt and bone meal back into the hole and mix them together. Holes for young saplings are usually small, so you don't need more than a handful of each.

Step 3

Add additional soil back to the hole, until it is 2/3 full. Spread the roots out over the soil.

Step 4

Pour enough water into the hole to fill it. As it drains, add the rest of the soil, filling in well around the roots. Tap the soil down with your feet to make sure it is secure around the root system.

Step 5

Apply a 1-inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree, starting from 3 inches from the stem to 24 inches out in all directions away from the tree. Do not let the mulch touch the stem; if moisture gets trapped on the stem, it can cause rot. Suitable mulches include wood chips, landscape cloths, bark or pine needles.

Step 6

Water regularly during the first year, especially in summer months. Feed the tree 1/2 to 1 gallon of water every three to four days.

Step 7

Spread 1 tbsp. of 10-10-10, slow-release fertilizer per foot of the tree's height once per year for young saplings. For example, if your sapling is 2 feet tall, spread 2 tbsp. of the fertilizer over the mulched area, then water well.

Step 8

Pound three plant stakes 12 inches into the ground on three different sides of the tree to make a tree guard. Staple 36-inch chicken wire to one of the stakes with a staple gun. Pull the wire over to the next stake and attach it with staples, then move on to the third stake and finally attach the wire to the first stake again. Keep the tree guard around the tree for at least two years.

Tips and Warnings

  • It is better to under fertilize a sapling than to over fertilize. If you give it too much fertilizer, it can stimulate a lot of new growth that won't have time to harden off before winter, and freezing temperatures will damage the growth. Young trees should not be fertilized more than once a year, and never after the month of June.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Transplant solution
  • Shovel
  • Bone meal
  • Mulch
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • 3-to-4 foot wooden plant stakes
  • Chicken wire
  • Staple gun


  • Ontario Extension Notes: Planting and Caring For Nut Trees
  • USDA Planting Guide: American Hazelnut
  • North Carolina State University Extension: A Gardener's Guide to Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • Nature Hills Nursery: Are Hazelnuts Easy To Grow?
Keywords: growing hazelnuts, planting hazelnuts, growing hazelnut trees

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.