How To Harvest Hazelnuts

Overview

The rich flavor of hazelnuts--also known as filberts--goes well with chocolate and baked good. The hazelnuts ripen late in summer but remain on the tree until autumn when they begin to fall to the ground. Hazelnut harvest season is typically August to September in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Mature hazelnuts trees can reach up to 20 feet; trees can provide a nut crop for 50 years if well cared for.

Step 1

Wait for hazelnuts from high-up branches to drop to the ground. Gardeners can wait for all hazelnuts to drop to the ground and harvest nuts as they fall. Gather fallen nuts in a basket and bring them indoors.

Step 2

Shake the tree branches to encourage more nuts to drop. Get as many nuts from the tree or from the ground before autumn rains come, since these can damage the nut crop.

Step 3

Spread harvested hazelnuts on a screen in a well ventilated location and allow them to dry completely. This should take one to two weeks, advises Rural Advantage. When the nuts feel light and dry to the touch, they're ready for the next step.

Step 4

Husk the nuts by hand or by using a nut sheller. Discard the husks.

Step 5

Store husked hazelnuts in an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator or the freezer to extend their shelf life.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not attempt to harvest nuts that have fallen to the ground and have then been rained on, as these could harbor disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Basket Screen Nut sheller (optional) Airtight container

References

  • Oregon State University Extension: How To Harvest, Handle and Store Nuts from the Home Orchard
  • Rural Advantage: Hybrid Hazelnuts
  • Go Pets America: Hazelnut Growing Tips
Keywords: hazelnut harvesting, collecting hazelnuts, husking my hazelnuts

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.