When to prune the Hazel
The hazel (Corylus avellana L., 1753) is a fruit tree of the Betulaceae family, native to Asia Minor.
Its natural geographical range is European-Caucasian, going from the Iberian Peninsula and England to the Volga, and from Sweden to Italy, where it is present in all regions, from the plain to 1300 m of altitude.
This plant prefer calcareous, well-drained, fertile and deep soils and semi-shaded places. The natural habitat consists of broad-leaved woods, especially mesophilic mixed oak woods, clearings and margins.
In these areas it can form pioneer groves on fresh stony soils, in association with maples or aspen.
Pruning period –
The hazelnut tree, as it happens for every plant, needs a well-planned pruning program both for the modalities and for the intervention period.
In the hazelnut plant, the optimal period for pruning is when the plant is in vegetative stasis and before it emits the spring buds.
But the pruning period also depends on the climatic conditions where the plant grows. In fact, even if the hazel is a rustic tree and is not particularly afraid of the cold, if the plant grows in an area where winter is harsh, it is advisable to avoid cutting in December and January and wait until the end of February to prune.
For this reason, the most suitable time to start the pruning technique is during the winter, starting from November until February but moving forward, therefore towards February, the pruning of plants that grow in colder areas.
In the hazelnut tree, the pruning technique is then developed according to some particular needs, also linked to the age of the plant; for details of the same, please refer to the following sheet.
As with most of the cultivated plants, also that of the hazelnut tree, as a result of human selection and improvement techniques, several varieties have been generated.
Among the most common varieties are mentioned:
– Tonda di Giffoni: widespread in Campania; it has medium fruit with good shelled yield and excellent quality. Pollinators: Mortarella, Camponica, Riccia di Talanico;
– Tonda Romana: widespread in the Viterbo area; medium-large fruit, with good shelled yield, excellent organoleptic characteristics. Pollinators: Nocchione;
– Tonda Gentile delle Langhe: typical variety of Piedmont, very valuable for its excellent organoleptic characteristics but not very adaptable to conditions other than the area of diffusion. Pollinators: Camponica.