Seedlings versus Cultivars - Our News Letter

Fall is near and it’s the best time to plant trees!

We are working to be the one stop shop for nut trees!

What is in this newsletter?

  • Why fall planting is best for trees
  • Z’s Nutty specializes in nut trees?
  • Seedlings vs Cultivars
  • We have new cultivars to offer.


Fall is tree planting time?

Yes, fall is the best time to plant trees.  There is usually plenty of rain and in the fall plants send energy to the roots.  The roots will grow until frozen and for many of us that can be a short period over winter.  You can see how planting in the fall gets your trees off to a good head start come spring.

At Z’s Nutty Ridge we specialize in cold hardy, quality nut trees and….

We work hard to bring you only quality cultivars and seedlings.  We start our trees early in a greenhouse to get a head start on the season and transplant them out to the field for further growth.  We also search out quality cultivars that we know can provide quality nuts. The seedlings we sell are from mother trees that have proven themselves to be cold hardy with disease resistance and still produce quality nuts. Granted seedlings are like children we never know what we get but, if the known parent has the “great” characteristics, there is a good chance the offspring will too and sometimes be better than the parent.  This is also why every few years we will sell seedling trees that we do controlled cross pollenations where we know both parents that went in to produce the offspring. We do this extra effort to find the next superstar cultivar.

We are also studying ways to bring you companion plantings. What we mean by this is there are multiple levels of perennials we can grow side by side with trees.  For example, chestnuts are a taller tree than our hybrid hazels and if your soil conditions allow, you can plant both and have them thrive together. However, chestnuts like the soil pH to be less than 6.5 and hazelnuts like soil above a 5.8 pH.  So, if your soil is in the middle and the soil is well drained you can grow both.  We are proving to ourselves what co-perennial crops can be planted for hazels and chestnuts when your soil really is only good for one of the two main nut trees.

Remind me what is the difference between a seedling and a cultivar?

All trees have names and seedlings are often given names based on where they originate from. Where they originate from could just be the nursery growing them, the region they are from or the mother tree they are from.  However, cultivars are clones of the mother tree.  This means wherever the clone is planted it will do as well as the mother tree would do, as it has the identical genetics of the mother tree.  Just because a tree has a name it doesn’t mean it is a cultivar.

A cultivar therefore is asexually reproduced by tissue culture, layering or cuttings. Anything produced by a seed is a seedling and not a cultivar. We at Z’s Nutty Ridge work to bring you seedlings from a known quality mother tree or trees asexually produced from a known cultivar. 

We will tell you if you are contemplating planting out whole orchards of seedling nut trees and are borrowing money to do so, you are taking on more risk than you need too.  The majority of the hazelnut trees for an orchard should be cultivars with quality seedlings for pollination insurance for good nut set and diversity.  If planting out chestnut seedlings you really need to double plant from known mother trees and remove the less productive trees.  Ideally you will plant chestnut cultivars just like hazelnut cultivars and Z’s Nutty will soon bring you chestnut cultivars.

So, what cultivars do we have at Z’s Nutty Ridge?

For Hazelnuts we have:


Our store is open for Hazelnuts (seedlings and cultivars), Heartnuts, chestnuts and we have a limited supply of 2 yr. old Finger Lakes Abundant seedlings. We are taking pre-orders for volume shipments of Grand Traverse and the “Beast”.  We do give discounts for orders over $1000 and $2500 please call for larger orders or tax-exempt orders.


Supply is limited and we thank you for you patronage.  Please feel free to email any questions, or feedback to



Dawn and Jeff Zarnowski

Z’s Nutty Ridge LLC

5296 Town Line Rd.

McGraw, NY 13101


Office: 607 310-1318

Growing hazelnuts and chestnuts are easy. Get the Book!


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