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Harvesting Filbert Hazelnut Trees

Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown nuts? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the the benefits of your labor: the best time to pick nuts from your tree, and how to store the nuts.

NOTE: This is part 8 in a series of 8 articles. For a complete background on how to grow filbert hazelnut trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.

When to Harvest

Harvest hazelnuts from late August through October when they have fallen from the trees. Hazelnut bushes will usually produce their first nuts in their fourth year, though they will not come into full nut production until year nine or later. Nuts should be harvested just as soon as they become loose in their husks to avoid losses to animal predation. In some plants this may occur when the husks are still green and moist, whereas in others it may not be until they are brown and dry. In general, if the clusters can be pulled from the bushes easily they are ready to harvest.

If husks were still green and moist at harvest time, to avoid predation by squirrels, they need to post-ripen for a week or two in conditions of high humidity but with adequate light and air circulation. If the husks were starting to turn brown at harvest time they should be allowed to dry completely by spreading them out in a well-ventilated (but mouse-proof) location, hanging them in mesh onion bags, until completely dry.

Storage

Hazelnuts will keep for about a year in your refrigerator if stored in an airtight container or freeze some for later use.

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