Suitable areas to grow hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are deciduous, requiring a cool winter to provide sufficient chill to break the dormancy of the flowering and vegetative buds. This crop is best suited to the cooler, southern parts of Australia and the ranges, where summers are not excessively hot. An average annual rainfall of over 600mm is desirable, with supplementary irrigation available to overcome moisture deficits in the years of below average rainfall. In the winter and early spring, the female flowers tolerate temperatures down to -9 Celsius.
In Australia, frost has not been noted as a problem, even where there are late, heavy spring frosts.
Potential production areas are the cool and high rainfall areas of NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, as well as areas of S.A. and W.A.
Climate data evaluation forms part of our consultation process for commercial plantings.
Soil type required
Hazelnuts do best in a very well-drained soil nutrient rich soil. However hazelnuts are tolerant of a range of soil types provided they are not poorly drained. Soil for the hazelnuts should be in the slightly acidic (pH 6.5) to neutral range. A soil test is a definite requirement before planting
Hazelnuts are fibrous rooted and so draw moisture primarily from the upper soil layer. Deeper roots provide the structural strength to resist wind damage.
A sunny aspect should be chosen to allow complete photosynthesis and production of starches and sugars for the nut crop.
Irrigation is beneficial when establishing an orchard to obtain large trees more rapidly. Later its main use is ensuring adequate soil moisture during the nut filling stage.
The nuts are developing the kernel December through February and it is therefore very important they have sufficient soil moisture in the top root zone during this period. This is discussed in detail in the Grower seminars and in the Hazelnut ebook.