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Growing a hazelnut fedge, will I get nuts?  RSS feed

 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1319
Location: Denver, CO
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Fedges are a cross of a hedge and a fence. Living stakes, generally willow, are planted such that they form a latticework. Here is a link for those who have not seen a fedge. http://www.doubleawillow.com/planting_fedge.php

Is there a way to do this with hazelnut and get nuts? Hazels bloom on the new wood, so I assume I'd have to let lots of sprouts go, let them fruit, then prune them back in the winter.
 
Jack Edmondson
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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the answer is yes; but the real question is how many.  I know in Europe hazel is a common hedge.  I think the limitation though is sunlight.  Hazelnut like mostly sunny light.  In a hedge environment only the top most and outer limbs get the light.  I have read that they do produce, but not in large quantities. 
 
Abbey Battle
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Location: Wealden AONB
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If the squirrels don't get them first.
You'll get a more plentiful crop with bigger nuts if they are in full sunlight. Though you will still get nuts even in the English shade, not intense shade but the shade of the hedge.
Hazelnuts are a traditional hedge forage food here in England. You do need to get your eye in though.

Hazel is quite brittle though, I don't know how easy it would be to weave. The joy of willow is that it is very bendy. I guess hurdles are made from willow so there has to be some give. Still, it's an amazingly versitle wood and I like that it grows quite tall and straight.
 
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