Welcome to Z's Nutty Ridge Nursery
Why we exist and we're happy you are here!
Almost 30 years ago we realized a large percentage of land was abandoned by farmers throughout the Northeast. The fields were getting filled with invasive bushes, sumacs, maples, and ashes. Taking natures lead, the search was on to find what trees could be planted to make the fields productive again.
After much research, we planted many thousands of nut trees of all types to learn what would grow in our colder USDA zones, on our hillside soils, and ample rainfall. It turns out the best nut trees were native to our region, just hybridized for disease resistance and large tasty bumper crops of nuts. During the multiple decades there have been many lessons learned on how to best grow nut trees and hybridize the best selections, so you can have your own tasty nut trees, without the wait!
We didn’t start from scratch as our research lead us to selections from other growers throughout the US and Canada. This allowed us to build upon the hybridization efforts of previous growers that can be traced back as far as 1921’. The one hundred years of efforts has resulted in nut trees that will enable cultivation from your back yard to all the fallow fields throughout much of North America.
Growing nut trees is easy once you know how! Take full advantage of our research and experience that spans three decades. We have boiled our knowledge down to an easy-to-read handbook for hazelnuts and chestnuts.
Take a quick tour below on hazelnuts and chestnuts
Hazels are Natures Power Plant
Hazelnuts are Native and now hybridized to be large and tasty. Most of us enjoy hazelnut confections and flavorings. Finding a selection of hazelnuts in our local store is rare as they are in chronic short supply. People are surprised to learn that hazels are a native tree that grows locally in the wild. You can grow these small trees in your yard or orchard.
Hybrid hazelnuts only grow 10’to 14’ feet tall and if left alone, form a bush to provide you and your family a tasty heart healthy energy packed tasty nuts. We only sell hybrid clones or seedlings from our best trees, so supply is limited.
Hazels are Healthy and Tasty.
Hazelnuts are essentially a nonperishable crop, that can be sold throughout the year and processed into many sought after products like confections, oil, flavorings, nut meal and spreads. USDA considers nuts heart healthy. Hazel oil is nearly identical to olive oil in composition and health benefits. The nut meal after the oil has been squeezed out is a tasty highly nutrient rich flour substitute for wheat and great for Keto diets.
Native hearty hazel trees, sequesters carbon, produces healthy oil, rich in plant proteins, rebuilds soil, prevents erosion, provides renewable fuel, cleans the air, and provides habitat, "Plant native trees that will pay you back" JZ
Hybrid hazel trees with jumbo grade sized nuts are successfully grown without pesticides or fungicides in USDA zones 4b/5a, in the Finger Lakes region of New York. You can grow them too!
Chestnuts are our Native Rock Stars.
Chestnuts have been grown throughout Europe, China, Japan and United States as a food staple since time immemorial.
Chestnut trees and their close relatives come in all sizes from bush to “Redwood” timber size. The American chestnut tree is a very large timber type tree with relatively small chestnuts. The European, Japanese and Chinese chestnut trees have a long history of being cultivated for nuts and the named selections are generally a size similar to a standard apple tree with large nuts that can be up to 10 nuts to the pound.
Typical chestnut tree when mature will be about 30+ feet tall and 25 feet across, that provides for wonderful shade as shown for our ZCC chestnut tree.
Orchard type chestnut trees are now disease resistant and produce copious amounts of nuts. All you have to do is pick them up when they fall from the tree. The nuts can be eaten fresh, or saved by freezing or drying. Once dried the nut can be turned into a sweet flour.
Many people haven’t tasted a chestnut or have only had the dried out imported nuts sold by your local grocer. We find that our chestnuts taste like a sweet pistachio!
"You know planting trees are good for the environment; but, nut trees are good for you too"