Planting Filbert Hazelnut Trees

Successfully establishing a young nut tree in your yard starts with your planting site and method. Once a tree is established, it needs little assistance to grow and produce; but you’ll want to make sure you give your tree the best foundation possible.

Nut trees require fertile soil for good growth, so before you plant, check your soil nutrients and pH. Contact your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. For hazelnuts, your ideal soil pH should be 6.0-7.0. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or poorly drained.

NOTE: This is part 2 in a series of 8 articles. For a complete background on how to grow filbert hazelnut trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.


  • Space your hazelnut trees 15’ to 18’ apart.
  • Wet roots thoroughly before planting.
  • Dig a hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the “J” type root system.
  • Plant 12” above the base of the “J” loop. This type of root tends to grow near the surface.
  • Refill hole with enhanced soil. Tamp soil firmly about roots as you add each shovel of dirt.
  • When hole is ¾ full, add two gallons of water, the last gallon should be treated with Stark® Tre-Pep® Fertilizer and let soak in. (If planting in the fall, consider waiting to fertilize until spring for best results.)
  • Finish filling hole.

After Planting

  • Prune your new bare root tree to a viable bud eye. This is essential. This forces your tree to grow a strong sprout that will become the main trunk. Take our word for it: pruning at planting time gets your new tree off to the best possible start. Potted nut trees do not need pruning.
  • Paint trunk with a white latex paint and/or wrap trunk within 4” of top using Stark® Tree Guards to prevent rodent injury and sun scald.
  • Mulch about June 1. Keep all weeds away from trees the first few years with mulch or regular cultivation.

Additional Notes

  • Hazelnut trees need another tree of the same species for pollination. Pollinator variety should not be more than 100 to 200 feet from the variety it needs to pollinate.
  • These trees are also called cob, cobnut, Pontic nut, Lombardy nut and Spanish nut.
  • Hazelnut trees, also known as filberts, should not be planted too deep. Hazelnuts have a “J” type root and they tend to grow near the surface, unlike fruit trees.
NEXT: Fertilizing Filbert Hazelnut Trees
Previous: Introduction