Badgersett Hazelnut Plants (Minneapolis pick-up only! NO SHIPPING! Please do not order in conjunction with seeds. Order seeds and hazelnut plants in separate orders. Thanks!)
ABOUT OUR PLANTS
The hazelnut plants that we sell are seedlings of mother plants personally selected by Philip Rutter of Badgersett Research Corporation, from a large expansion planting (7.5 acres, originally stocked at 1,200 – 2,200 plants per acre) of seedlings from some of Badgersett’s most advanced breeding lines, planted in 2003 on a farm in northwestern Illinois.
These plants are highly adapted to the pests, diseases, and climate of the Midwest and Upper Midwest, USDA zones 4-6, and are also appropriate for the Northeast. They come from parent plants from identified breeding lines, with good to excellent total crop loads and kernels that are large enough for already-existing mechanical cracking and sorting equipment.
Because each plant is a genetically unique seedling, individual performance will vary. The cream of the crop will be excellent, and according to Badgersett, 50-60% should resemble their female parent strongly enough to produce useful crop yields. Others will be a varying mixture of mediocre, strange, and total junk! The current recommendation is to plant bushes 3-4 feet apart within the row, then thin them to 6-9 feet apart once they've been bearing nuts for a few years and you've started to identify the higher-performers at your particular site.
We recommend these plants for people who either: a) already have an established hazel planting that they would like to expand; b) are considering commercial growing and are looking to start a trial planting; or c) interested in growing hazelnuts as a hobby or breeding project, for aesthetics/edible landscaping, or for personal consumption. If you would like to order more than 200 plants, please get in touch directly so that we can better understand your goals. Don’t bet the farm, yet!
We offer 2 different sizes of 3-4 month old greenhouse grown-plug: either grown in 18-cell or 32-cell Rootmaker propagation flats. You will need to purchase your plants in these increments (multiples of 18 or 32 plants). Plants in the 18-cell flat will be slightly taller with thicker stem caliper and larger root systems (1 pint soil volume). Plants in the 32-cell flat will be smaller (similar, but slightly greater root volume than the tubelings familiar to previous Badgersett customers), but the trade-off is that they cost less per plant.
Both sizes work for direct field planting, up-potting to larger pots for fall planting, or transplanting to a nursery bed for bare-root dormant digging and transplant in the fall or next spring. Actively growing plants generally require more active after-care (irrigation and weed control, mostly) than bare-root dormant plants in the first month after planting, but they can be less expensive to grow en masse and protected from rodents, and have a much larger transplant window. Follow the directions!
We offer 4 different categories of seedlings based on the bush size and nut characteristics of the MOTHER PLANT. The characteristics of the mother plant are a good indication, BUT NOT A GUARANTEE!!!, of the characteristics of all of its seedlings. In other words, seedlings from a bush with large nuts are more likely to have large nuts, but some will have medium nuts, and vice versa. A few will likely have tiny nuts! That's the luck of the draw. Also, our definitions of "medium" and "large" nuts are calibrated to the standards of the Upper Midwest; very few seedlings will have nuts as big as the jumbo nuts from Oregon that you can buy in the grocery store. This is the case for any available plants that reliably survive in the Upper Midwest and have respectable yields. Medium kernels weigh approximately 0.45-0.6 grams, and large kernels are usually 0.6-0.8 grams.
Bush height and shape is more highly heritable than nut characteristics. Most seedlings from "short" breeding lines will grow up to be short, and most seedlings from "tall" breeding lines will grow up to be tall.
Your options are:
1. Short bush, medium nut – mature height of the bush 6-9’. Often the most productive, in terms of total kernel/acre. In-shell nuts and kernels large enough for commercial cracking and processing, but a bit small for hand cracking (for most people).
2. Short bush, large nut – mature height of the bush 6-9’. Limited supply, we recommend accepting substitutions. Nuts suitable for commercial cracking and processing, and some bushes will have nuts large enough to enjoy cracking with a hand cracker, or sell in-shell.
3. Tall bush, medium nut – mature height greater than 10’, with some reaching 18’ if you let them keep growing and growing. Tend to have smaller crowns and thicker, straighter stems than short bushes. In-shell nuts and kernels large enough for commercial cracking and processing, but a bit small for hand cracking (for most people).
4. Tall bush, large nut – mature height greater than 10’, with some reaching 18’ if you let them keep growing and growing. Tend to have narrower crowns, and thicker, straighter stems than short bushes. Nuts suitable for commercial cracking and processing, and many should be large enough to enjoy cracking with a hand cracker, or sell in-shell.
The specific identities of the mother plants of the seedlings you're purchasing are available for a small fee ($5 per flat). This can be helpful for efficiently arranging your planting and for citizen-science participatory breeding work. Seedlings of the same mother plant are likely to be approximately the same size and shape, and are more likely to have similar nut characteristics and ripen around the same time than a random assortment of breeding lines. It's also useful to know how different breeding lines perform in the long term at your specific site, and to know the female parent of any exceptionally good individual plants - we recommend it.
PICK-UP DATE AND LOCATION
Expected to be ready for pick-up mid June through mid July. But this is our first year, so we will be in contact with you about our progress.
The pick-up site will be Dusty Hinz’s new garden center in Minneapolis, Agrarian Seed and Garden, located at 5152 Hiawatha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55417.
Propagating Badgersett's hazelnut genetics is a joint project between EFN co-founder Dusty Hinz and Mark Hamann. We've both lived and worked at Badgersett and continue to work with the Illinois planting, which is how this particular venture came about. Badgersett founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist Philip Rutter provides expert advice based on decades of experience and specialized knowledge, and personally selects the breeding lines we are growing and selling.
2021 will be our first year growing seedlings for sale to the general public. While we have multiple years of experience propagating woody plants, we’ll inevitably have some kinks to work out as we scale up our growing systems and order fulfillment. We promise to deliver vigorous plants with excellent, healthy root systems and that are fully adapted for field planting. Full, immediate refund if we are unable to fulfill your order because of plant quantity or quality issues. Please get in touch if you have any questions.