How to plant and care for your Hazelnut trees

1. Carefully unpack immediately.  Carefully cut the tape and do not allow the tape sticky side to touch the plants as leaves and branch bark can be torn. The leaves and branches were packed in tight to minimize movement and will appear to be crinkled and bent.  Water the pots immediately.
2. Thank you for purchasing our trees. A little planning is important when planting trees that will live for a long time.  Hazelnuts require two trees for proper pollination to produce nuts. They must be able to receive pollen from a different tree and therefore the trees should be relatively close to each other. Please note, layered trees that have the same name are actually the same tree and will not pollenate each other.  You need a seedling or a layered tree with a different name for proper pollination.  If you plan to grow as a tree they should be 16 to 20 feet apart.  If you are planning to grow as a bush they can be as close as 5 feet.
3. Remove grass and vegetation from the planting area with a shovel or garden pick. The soil needs to be between 6.5 and 7.0 pH for good health of the tree. You may need to add lime in the soil and sprinkle lime in an area around the hole to make sure the soil is of proper pH.  If possible liming the soil is done some weeks or months prior to planting to allow the lime to neutralize the soil.  Make sure the potted tree has been well watered prior to digging the hole.
4. Dig a planting hole twice as wide and the same depth as the pot. Remove any rocks from the soil to not damage the roots when backfilling.
5. Fill the planting hole with water. Wait until the water soaks into the soil. If the pot won’t slip off, then cut the grower's pot along the side with a utility knife, splitting it open so you can remove the tree without damaging the trunk or roots. Slide the roots into the planting hole and remove the grower's pot. Arrange any loose roots so they spread out evenly. Be careful to avoid damaging the moist, tender roots.  You want the tree to be even or slightly lower than the natural soil surface and you want the soil to be on the same position on the stem as it was in the pot.
6. Backfill with the excavated soil. Tamp the soil over the roots gently and water thoroughly now to eliminate air pockets.  Use more water than you think you should! Air pockets will kill the roots and possibly the tree.
7. Add a 4-inch layer of mulch around the tree, pulling it back 4 inches from the trunk. Mulch helps conserve water and maintain a consistent soil moisture level.  Much can turn acidic as it decomposes so lime may need to be added to the mulch.
8. Water young trees once or twice a week especially during dry periods, adding enough water to soak the tree roots and surrounding ground.
9. Apply 1/8 pound, or 5 tablespoons, of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer in early spring the year after planting the tree. Scatter the fertilizer under the tree, out to the drip line and do not allow fertilizer to fall against and is far enough away from the trunk that the fertilizer cannot wash up against the tree trunk.
10. The hazelnut may be maintained as a small tree or multi-stemmed bush. To grow as a tree approximately 15 feet tall, remove root suckers when they appear, so only one main trunk grows.  Once the tree is big enough it shades the base of the tree and suckers won’t be able to grow.  If you want a bush allow the root suckers to grow and a dense bush will form.   
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