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Companion For Hazelnuts?

 
Nick Dee
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I am planning on planting a hedge of hazelnuts for a sort of privacy screen. I have been searching for some companion or guild plants but havent found anything specific. I was thinking of some other shrubs that would bloom at opposite times from the hazelnuts possibly.

Any ideas? Thanks!
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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The usual, legume family + mint family + onion family + carrot family + dynamic accumulator.
Dutch clover, winter savory, garlic chives, water celery and comfrey.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I've got some blackberries near hazel nuts now. I'm planting a hedge of 25 hazels about 3' apart this spring. I'm going to try slender bush clover, Lespedeza Virginica, in between each hazel.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Depending on what type of hazel (turkish hazels are more of a tree form), they form a pretty dense bush, so it is hard to plant something under. While they get established, you will be able to grow something else in between the bushes, but once they get bigger, you will most likely have to plant in front of the hedge.
 
Crt Jakhel
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Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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It's not a harsh filter to select something that blooms when hazels are done since they are done very early in the year. I don't know what location you're at but with us in Z6, wild hazels start out at the end of January and then named cultivars carry the torch throughout February. After that, willows take over, etc.

And it would be easy to grow somethinig around and through the bushes - think blackberries and wild roses - but do you plan to harvest the hazelnuts? That goal could clash with the goal of increasing density because for the harvest, you want to be able to reach into the bushes and pick up nuts from under them.
 
David Livingston
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The only companion we have here are squirrels
 
Nick Dee
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Thanks for all of the suggestions so far! I am fortunate that we dont have any animal problems such as squirrels here!

When I build the bed for these do I need to do anything special? Or is standard bed preparation the norm?

 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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David Livingston wrote:The only companion we have here are squirrels

Which is a pretty nice companion to have if you harvest it
 
David Livingston
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Alas here in Ftrance at least where I live we only have Red Squirrels , too cute and small to eat .
You say you dont have squirrels, plant nuts and they will come
 
Mick Fisch
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I've interplanted hazels and plums. I don't know yet how it will turn out. They have similar habitat needs, but they may well turn out to be more competitive with each other than supportive of each other. My thinking was that by putting alternating hazels and plums I might reduce some of the disease spread found in a monoculture. I think they are unrelated to the point where they should block each others diseases, etc.

 
Mick Fisch
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I also read somewhere that you can grow truffles with hazels. Might be an nice addition.
 
Larisa Walk
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We have 4 rows of hazels from Badgersett, about 40 plants total. They are planted equidistant at 8' centers. The oldest bushes are 13 years old and the planting has filled in solid with canopies touching. Nothing grows under these oldest plants anymore as no sunlight can penetrate the cover. It's a bit too tight for my liking when it comes to harvest time. If I were to do this again I would probably make the spacing no less than 10', maybe as big as 12'. But the area does provide wonderful cover for our 4 hens. Great shade from summer heat and the best place to hide from aerial predators. The hazels run along one side of our fenced orchard, which keeps the chickens in and other critters out. The rest of the orchard has a carpet of mixed perennials - grasses, clovers, a bit of crown vetch in one area, Queen Anne's lace, etc., none of which we planted. The chickens work on this area all year but we do have to mow it a couple of times to keep it within bounds. I think the chickens are working on the insect pests, but I have no data to back up my observations. I have seen them attacking and eating small rodents on several occasions although the chipmunks still make forays into the patch. But we manage to have plenty of fruit and nuts to eat and some eggs as a bonus.
 
David Livingston
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Larisa , have you thought of copicing ?
 
Larisa Walk
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Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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David Livingston wrote:Larisa , have you thought of copicing ?

Yes, we have done a little bit, but this year we are doing all of the oldest bushes. We have decided to do a partial coppice, leaving some small, younger stems to grow, more of a radical thinning than taking it all back to the ground. We're hoping that will bring them back into production a bit faster. If this was a commercial planting then it would be more sensible to cut back the entire bush. However we're using a cordless reciprocating saw with a 12" wood cutting blade so we can be more selective. Anything bigger around than my thumb gets lopped into stove wood lengths for our masonry heater. The small twigs are being piled to start breaking down and then will be used for ramial wood in the orchard.
 
John Weiland
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If I ever get around to planting hazels and wish to do it as a hedge, I'd consider inter-spacing them with Serviceberry (aka Juneberry, aka Pembina/Saskatoon Berry) and Aroniaberry (aka Chokeberry). The two berries grow well this far north and the Juneberries ripen according to their namesake, while the Aroniaberries ripen in the fall....in our case, even later than hazels. Our Nannyberries ripen about the same time or even a bit later. The question being, would this be inviting too many hungry visitors to the hedge?
 
Mick Fisch
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I've planted service berries here in southern indiana, but I think it's too warm here. They are surviving, but not growing much. Shame, I used to pick them where they grow wild along the Turnagain arm, south of Anchorage, AK.
 
Larisa Walk
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Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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We have a few aronia bushes. They were planted after the orchard space was filled up and so are just near the house and not fenced. Nothing much seems to bother them - the deer mostly ignore them and go for the 2 apples in the yard, and have only had minor pressure from some robins eating the fruit. Don't think they would add to the pest pressure if planted with hazels. They are about the same height so they might be good in a mixed planting. We had a couple of service berries in the past. EVERYTHING ate them - birds, chipmunks, and deer. The aronia berries don't taste good raw so maybe that is part of the protection?
 
John Weiland
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@Larisa W: " We had a couple of service berries in the past. EVERYTHING ate them - birds, chipmunks, and deer. The aronia berries don't taste good raw so maybe that is part of the protection?"

{chuckle}..Yeah, that's probably about right. The Aronias are pretty tart, but make perhaps the best preserves of the berries that we have. AND have great fall foliage to boot. The Juneberries could take out a restraining order against the Waxwings.....hordes of those birds camp out in the trees like the Ottomans surrounding Vienna just waiting for the Juneberries to turn color. Only bird netting has saved the crop the past few years,....yet since the bushes are now 8 - 10' in diameter, it's getting difficult to cover them effectively. As we are in heavy clay soil of mid to higher pH, blueberries aren't really an option unless we want to really convert the soil. The berry crops are behind fencing, otherwise the pigs would get wise like they have with the cherry and apple trees: "I'm not *really* trying to make these apples fall, I'm just rubbing against the tree trunk....with all of my weight!" So yes, I suspect there will be no planting configuration of the Juneberries that would cloak them from the keen eyes of those interested.

Out of curiosity, are you on the flats south of Winona or more up in the hills and bluffs? I would think the soil type of the bottomlands to be quite different than above.
 
Larisa Walk
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Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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John Weiland wrote:Out of curiosity, are you on the flats south of Winona or more up in the hills and bluffs? I would think the soil type of the bottomlands to be quite different than above.


We're a little below the ridge in southern Winona county. Not only are the soils quite different, but the microclimates as well. We used to live in the valley bottom a bit over a mile as the crow flies from where we're at now (4 miles by road). We're now a full climate zone warmer and get at least an additional month of growing season. Where are you located?
 
John Weiland
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@Larisa W.

We are about half an hour south of Moorhead, MN, so right in the middle of sugarbeet/wheat/corn/soybean country. The clay is heavy enough in some parts on the property that we could easily throw pots with what we directly pull out of the garden. Great for holding water, but bad for many kinds of trees that don't like the density and wet feet (first water level is 12 feet down, but most wells are dug to ~150 ft for good water). But I grew up in Rochester and spent a fair amount of early years around Whitewater State Park and other regions near the Mississippi and its tributaries. My sister lives north of Lake City some miles on the Wisconsin side of the river, but up on the rolling plains away from the river itself. She's had good success with her Badgersett Hazel stock (~300 plants) and is impressed with the relatively short turn-around from planting to the time she started getting some low-level yields. I can see where there would be microclimates to target for a homestead in your area.....positioning properly with good southern exposure and with the bluffs to the north to block the "delicate winter breezes" ( ) would be choice I would think. It's a beautiful area to be sure and a great location for annual crops and orchards.....
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