Producers

Guiding the cultivation

Turkey is the biggest hazelnut producer in the world (70% of global production), followed by Italy (10-15%), the US (4%), Azerbaijan (3%), Georgia, Chile, Spain and Iran. Turkey has a growing area of approximately 700,000 hectares. Italian production covers 70,000 hectares. Unlike Turkey and Italy, where crops are grown on small or mid-sized farms, in the United States, the plantations are large and involve a high level of mechanisation.

Conditions

The hazelnut and the environment

The hazelnut plant has a characteristic bushy shrub, and can group up to 3-4 metres. The hazelhut is a plant known for its robustness, in fact, it can be found in diverse environments and adapts to different climatic conditions. Botanically, they belong to the Fageles order, the Betulacee family and the Corylus genus. There are different species, including Corylus Avellana, which is most common in Europe and Turkey, Corylus Colurna (Turkey), Corylus Heteophylla grows in the coldest areas of China and American Crylus in North America.

Pollination

Pollination

The hazelnut is a diploid monoic species, where male flowers, called catkins and female flowers are found on the same plant. Pollination is anemophilous, which means, it uses the wind as a means of dispersion and occurs during the winter months, while blooming occurs very early in the spring. The hazelnut is a self-incompatible plant, meaning that it can’t pollinate a plant from the same cultivar. So, it is necessary to have two or more different cultivars at the time of planting. Each variety has a pollinator with which it is most compatible (eg, the the Tonda gentile romana or the Palaz are most compatible with the Tombul cultivar).

PROPAGATION

Organisational improvement

Currently, the simplest and most widespread hazelnut propagation method used by farmers is done by using pollen from certified stools, which are then selected moved for rooting. Micro-propagation is a valid way for increasing the number of hazelnut plants. It is a system of propagation that enables the production of a large number of plants in a short time, whilst maintaining the characteristics of the variety. After one or two years in the nursery, the seedlings are ready to be planted in the field.
A hazelnut plant cultivated efficiently starts producing in 5-6 years, reaching its peak production capacity after 8-9 years.