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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

Cobnut, filbert nut

Latin Name: Corylus ssp

Plant Family: Betulaceae

Close Relatives: Members of the birch family

Uses and Markets: Culinary.  At present, there are small local opportunities for selling fresh in-shell nuts, however, the need for other Canadian markets for both the in-shell and the kernel (processing) markets remains.

Hazelnut stool beds for nursery stock Trickle irrigation in a young hazelnut orchard Large harvester picking up windrowed hazelnuts Large blower for hazelnut harvest

Machines of varying sizes can be used to clean and sort hazelnuts after harvest.Dry roasting and salting of hazelnuts
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Cold tolerance is variety specific.  Hybrid varieties are generally more cold tolerant.  Areas that support apple and tender fruit orchards are suitable for hazelnut production. 

Propagation method

From nursery stock.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:


Field Transplanting Dates

Early spring while young trees are still dormant.

In-row spacing

3-4 m (variety dependent).

Between row spacing

5-7 m (variety dependent).

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Nutrient recommendations from Oregon may be helpful.  Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well-drained, deep, fertile loam to sandy loam soils.

Soil pH

Prefers slight acidity, pH 6-7

Special requirements for growth habit

Typically every third row within a variety block is planted with pollinizer trees.  Pruning after year 2 is required.

Optimal Temperature Range

Temperate climate.

Temperature sensitivity

Male catkins are frost sensitive.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions, especially during the 3-4 years after planting.

Days to harvest

Begins in early September.

Specialized equipment

Nut harvesting machine.

Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests, as ripe nuts fall off the trees.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Machine harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades in Canada, but there is a U.S. standard grade.

Additional Harvest Notes

Orchard floor should be as smooth and flat as possible to allow sweepers to efficiently collect the fallen nuts.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Nuts are de-husked, cleaned, washed, sanitized and dried to 5-8% moisture within 24 hours of harvest.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 60-65%

Temperature: <10˚C.

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: Temperature dependent.  Cooler temperatures increase storage life.

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Bud mites, two-spotted spider mites, red mite, filbert aphid, leafhoppers, lecanium scale, San Jose scale, Japanese beetle, obliquebanded leafroller, fruitworms, tent caterpillars, gypsy moths

Diseases: Eastern filbert blight (Anisogramma anomola), bacterial blight (Xanthomonas pv. corylina)

Other: Birds (blue jays and crows), deer, raccoons, squirrels, mice and voles

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Filbertworm (Cydia latiferreana)*, brown marmorated stink bug*


*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: eastern filbert blight, bud mites.  Brown marmorated stink bug has caused significant damage to hazelnuts in New Jersey. For more information on pests of hazelnuts, refer to OMAFRA factsheet 12-009: Hazelnuts in Ontario – Pests.

This crop is in Crop Groups 14 and 14-11:  Tree Nuts. . For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section. Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist. For pest control products registered on this crop refer to OMAFRA Publication 360 – Guide to Fruit Production.
Hazelnut buds infested with bud mites are typically much larger (lower left) than a normal sized bud (upper right). Bid mites within a hazelnut budFilbert aphids on underside of a hazelnut leafJapanese beetles infesting young hazelnut treeClose up of fungal stromata of eastern filbert blight
Additional Notes

A recommended ground cover for Heartnut trees is Dwarf perennial rye.

Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile

Cultivar research trials – The University of Guelph, at the Simcoe Research Station and Vineland Research Station (VRIC), is testing several dozen cultivars of hazelnuts to determine suitability for fresh market and confectionary markets, tolerance or resistance to Eastern Filbert Blight disease, which has prevented commercialization in Ontario previously, cold tolerance during winter, frost tolerance in spring, cross-pollination to maximize cropping, pest management program development.

Minor use registration – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Harrow is conducting field trials to achieve minor use registration of herbicides for use on Hazelnuts in Canada.  Field trials for minor use registration of insecticides, fungicides and biological pest control will be included in the future.

Hazelnut pest management – OMAFRA Crop Specialists. Surveys and timely site inspections at private hazelnut farms and hazelnut research sites are conducted to develop an effective pest management program for Ontario.  

  1. Duke, J.A. 1989. Handbook of nuts. CRC Press, Inc, Boca Raton, Florida.
  2. Eastern Chapter Society of Ontario Nut Growers. 2010. A nut growers’ manual.  
  3. Gordon, J.H. 1993. Nut growing Ontario style. Society of Ontario Nut Growers, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
  4. Grimo, E. 2011. Nut tree Ontario: a practical guide. Society of Ontario Nut Growers, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
  5. Janynes, R.A. 1969. Handbook of North American nut trees. The Northern Nut Growers Association, Knoxville, Tennessee.
  6. Leuty, T. 2003. Tree nut orchards and food safety. Hort Matters 3 (24).
  7. Leuty, T. 2006. Summer pest activity in heartnut walnuts. Hort Matters 6 (21).
  8. Leuty, T. 2007. Spring scouting observations in heartnut walnuts. Hort Matters 7 (11).
  9. Leuty, T. 2009. Frost injury in heartnut walnut orchards. Hort Matters 9 (9).
  10. Society of Ontario Nut Growers. 2003. Heartnut.
  11. Welsh, M.F. and W.S. Peters. 1984. Nut culture in British Columbia. Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Food.