Trazels go back to the early days of nut growing using the seed strains and cultivars of Laroka from the Gellatly in British Columbia. Since then people have distributed many of its seedlings as both tree hazels and trazels. I was growing these for a while and found out within about 4 years the whole strain of Laroka was not possible to survive Michigan. I couldn't even find individuals within it that would live here. As a result I was about to give up when I met a farmer in Illinois that had found a unique trazel strain that was given to him. He had one plant left and gave me 2 nuts. I planted those at my farm and believe it or not both fruited and were not plagued by filbert blight. Ironic considering I had lost over 3000 Laroka seedlings just a few years earlier.
Tree hazels offer the chance of a more robust hazel plant with thick trunks and long lived canes. The plants kind of grow like a large lilac and can be managed as a small tree with multiple trunks. The nuts are produced in large round clusters with often thick fleshy pods much like its parent the Turkish tree hazel. Trazel nuts are flavorable and often come out clean out of the husk. The shells are thick as well but the nuts crack out whole once cracked.
To germinate the seeds, store seeds at 38F to 40F for 90 to120 days in a moist media. After 90 days check for sprouting in the fridge. After putting at room temperature, seeds will sprout for up to a month. Some may go into a second dormancy.
|Genus & Species||Corylus colurna x avellana x americana|
|Height (ft)||12-15 ft. with equal width|
|Pollination Requirements||Two plants a must for cross pollination. Wind pollinated and will cross a bit with the other hazels but best to have at least two plants to insure overlap. This seed strain requires good crossing of similar trazel like species otherwise may not fruit much.|
|Soil||Prefers a sandy loam slightly acidic soil. Additional nitrogen after 3 years increases the flowering and fruiting once the plants are established.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Completely immune to filbert blight despite the fact that previous selections were not possible for me to grow. As a result the seedlings make it possible to use a more trunk type management style for this strain even though not a 'real' cultivar. The plants do well in light shade as well.|