How to Plant American Hazelnut Trees


The American hazelnut tree is a member of the birch family. Unlike the birch, however, the hazelnut is a shrub that will grow in width more than it will in height. Like the birch the hazelnut tree can be used as an ornamental, for the lovely foliage that turns color in autumn. The nuts can be referred to as either hazelnuts or filberts, and are produced by the tree, ready to pick, in July in most areas. Plant more than one American hazelnut tree to ensure pollination. These trees do best in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9.

Step 1

Fill a bucket, large enough to accommodate the hazelnut tree's root ball, with water. Place the roots in the water and allow them to soak for one hour.

Step 2

Dig up the planting area to a depth of 12 inches. As you remove the soil, turn it and crush any large clumps of dirt.

Step 3

Add a 3-inch layer of coarse compost and a 2-inch layer of coarse sand to the soil and mix it in well with a gardening fork. Level the area.

Step 4

Dig a hole twice the width of the hazelnut tree's root ball. The hole should be deep enough so that, when the tree is held at soil-level, the roots just touch the bottom of the hole.

Step 5

Throw a handful of bone meal into the planting hole.

Step 6

Lower the tree into the planting hole until the roots just touch the soil at the bottom of the hole. Start back-filling the hole with soil. When the hole is half-full, use the hose to trickle some water into it. This will help settle the roots and remove air pockets. Finish back-filling the hole while running the water into it at the same time.

Step 7

Tamp the soil around the base of the tree with your feet. Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the sapling, placing it 1/2 an inch away from the trunk.

Step 8

Water frequently, especially during the summer. Allow the water to puddle around the tree. As the tree ages, you can water less frequently.

Step 9

Apply 10-10-10 fertilizer at the first sign of new growth on the hazelnut tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Shovel
  • Gardening fork
  • Compost, coarse
  • Builder's sand, or coarse sand
  • Bone meal
  • Hose
  • Mulch
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • Arbor Day Foundation: Hazelnut, American
  • United States Department of Agriculture: American Hazelnut Planting Guide
  • Landowner Resource Center: Planting and Caring For Nut Trees
Keywords: plant hazelnut tree, plant filberts, grow hazelnut tree

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.