There are so many Hazelnut farms in the Willamette Valley that it is difficult to avoid them when traveling through it's rolling hills and winding highways.
Hazelnuts are an important crop for farmers in the Northwest, and it is a great place to grow them; indeed the Northwest native form of Corylus is rampant in the Portland area and all through the valley. There are several garden-worthy ornamental Hazelnuts hailing from Turkey and Europe as well.
These are some of our favorite plants for winter interest because the branches twist and turn in such a beautiful way.
They carry catkins through winter that elongate when weather warms and yellow flowers bloom. Leaves are dull green, so not much to look at during summer.
Grows 8-10' x 8-10', sun-part shade, Z4
Finally a contorted Filbert that is resistant to Filbert Blight! 'Red Dragon' boasts wonderful curling gray branches, dangling pink catkins in early spring and dark purple leaves with a matte surface. Developed at OSU.
Grows 8' x 5', Sun-pt shade, Z4
The Turkish Hazel is an easy to grow shade tree with decorative yellow catkins in late winter and nuts in summer. An excellent choice for wildlife habitat, it provides cover and food for birds and squirrels. It's resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight and adjusts to various soil conditions smoothly.
Grows 35-50' in a pyramid shape – Sun-part shade, Z4
Oregon is the largest producer of Hazelnuts in the US with most orchards located in the Willamette Valley, and for years the industry has been plagued by Eastern Filbert Blight, an insidious fungal disease. To help one of our major food industries, Oregon State University developed a series of blight resistant varieties, which are now available to retail nurseries like us!
Hazelnut pollination is tricky and it's important to plant the right combination of trees in order to have good nut production. Coordinating pollen shed with bloom is one factor. Hazelnuts have male and female flowers; male flowers produce pollen and female flowers make nuts, and male flowers produce pollen for a longer period of time than female flowers are open. Additionally some Hazelnuts are genetically incompatible. So...complicated! But we try to make it more simple here.
We carry 3-4 of the following varieties each spring:
Read up on some of our favorite shrubs and remember, this is only a smattering of the variety of shrubs we carry all year long! Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.