Hazelnut trees like many other trees require regular care in order to ensure their optimum health. This is especially the case with young or freshly planted trees. Quality care from the start can have a significant impact on the health of the plant throughout its life. By taking proper care of the plant early on there is a greater chance it will be able to not only grow quickly but also have a better chance at resisting disease and pest related problems. Although these problems can’t be eliminated complicated good care definitely goes a long way towards the prevention of problems.
How to care for hazelnut trees
For younger trees fertilization is one of the most important aspects of care. This should be done on an annual basis to ensure that the tree is getting the proper nutrition it needs for flowering and growth. Normally using a 10-10-10 mixture is going to give the best overall results for the tree.
Mulch is also a good means of caring for a hazelnut tree. By applying mulch to the base of the tree it will not only add an additional aesthetic to the landscaping it helps protect the tree. This is especially important when it comes to freshly planted trees or saplings. The mulch acts as a barrier that helps to keep the roots moist by absorbing and retaining moisture that can be used by the tree. The mulch will also help to keep down the number of weeds around the tree. If a pest resistant mulch is used it could also help to protect the tree from insects that could damage the tree. When using mulch it is a good idea to remember when it is placed. As the mulch breaks down more mulch should be added to maintain not only the moisture blanket but so that weeds and insects can be controlled as well. Normally a good sign of the time to replace the mulch is the appearance of weeds.
Pruning of the Hazelnut Tree
Pruning is another important aspect of caring for hazelnut trees. There are two methods of pruning the tree depending upon what the goal is for the tree. Since hazelnuts can either be used as hedges or as trees it is a good idea to understand how to prune effectively for the growth of both.
When hazelnut trees are used in hedging the shoots that come out of the ground are a good thing. These are used to fill in the gaps and will help make the hedge look like an actual hedge. This process takes a bit of time but with proper pruning it can be sped up significantly. To do this simply take the time to prune away the shoots that are coming out of area the hedge is ideally going to be contained to. By doing this the tree will typically use resources in other areas of the tree rather than trying to focus on those loose shoots that aren’t going to assist in growing the hedge.
When hazelnut trees are used as trees the pruning is completely different than when used for hedging. This is because rather than keeping the ground shoots they are trimmed away. This is done to maintain the classic look of the tree, but is possible to have a healthy tree with a few shoots coming out of the ground. Keep in mind that the more shoots the tree has the less flowering it is going to do.
Ideally when pruning the tree it should be done in the winter months. This is the period of time when the tree is dormant. By taking advantage of this time of the year it is less likely to have a negative impact on the growth or flowering of the tree. It is also easier to maintain control of the tree during this time of the year as shoots aren’t going to be continually appearing during the dormant time of year. Regardless of the type of pruning that is done it is important to trim away any dead or dying limbs and branches. This will help the tree in avoiding serious disease such as the Eastern Filbert Blight which can potentially kill the tree.
Other care notes
Bud mites are another issue related to hazelnut trees. These mites can be quite a problem once they have surfaced. Mites will get into the buds of the tree where they will prevent the tree from flowering and destroy the shoots. The existence of the mite will keep the tree from growing further and replenishing itself. With the destruction of the shoots it could also allow for further problems as disease can then take over the plant if the dead shoots are allowed to remain.
Most of the time bud mites can be easily treated through the use of a spray designed to eliminate them. If they are expected or known to exist it is a good idea to eliminate them as quickly as possible to help prevent further damage to the tree.