California hazel

(Corylus cornuta)

You Say Hazelnut, I Say Filbert
In Oregon, you might hear its nut described as a filbert, which is correct. The filbert tree is a close relative of the California hazel and a variety that is native to Oregon. Nearly 99 percent of the nation's filbert crop is produced in Oregon and often marketed as hazelnuts, to avoid confusion.

In its natural setting it is mostly found on damp rocky slopes and stream banks in the understory of coniferous or mixed hardwood forests.

Native shrubs or small trees form thickets growing 3 to 50 feet tall.  Its main stem is straight, with spreading, ascending branches. Leaves are often velvety-hairy, nearly round to ovate and 1.5 to 4 inches in length. Tiny filaments protrude from the husk and may stick and irritate the skin.

California hazelnut is used in hedgerow, riparian and wildlife habitat plantings to provide cover and food. Many animals including squirrels, chipmunks, jays, grouse and pheasant eat the nuts.

Plants are hardy and can withstand winters to 0°F and can be found in elevations up to 8,000 feet with high annual precipitation.

California hazelnut does well in full sun or shade, and prefers moist but well-drained, loamy, acid soils. California hazelnut may need to be watered during the first year or two, but requires little management once established.

Fire kills the above-ground portion of the shrub, but it resprouts fairly readily after fire, and in fact American Indians in California and Oregon used fire to encourage hazelnut growth.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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