Monday, September 28

Filberts - in spite of the wildlife

In spite of the critters who beat me to the nuts, I managed to harvest a handful of filberts (Hazelnuts, if you prefer). Not many, but the bushes are filling in nicely and we should have a thick hedge in a few years. (I couldn't find my nut cracker immediately, so I brought out the next best thing)

The crop would probably have been better harvested a week ago or even two weeks ago, but I had completely forgotten about them until mowing the lawn when I spied a few ripe nuts on the grass near the shrubs.

Hazelnuts are a favorite of lots of animals - deer will eat both the young branches and the nuts. Squirrels and ground squirrels will devour the nuts. I've seen some bluejays in the bushes, perhaps they like the nuts as well? The plant is native to this area, which helps with the low maintenance and hardiness. They'll grow to be about 10 feet tall, and fill in as wide as we let them (new suckers show up every year, even through landscape fabric).

We have two plantings of American hazelnut - one large group back in the thicket towards the far corner of the property (planted the DNR seedlings a couple years ago, many survived) and another group of three along the side of the property, eventually screening us from the neighbors. The hope is that the large planting will attract most of the critters and the small planting will be saved for the humans.

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