IMPORTANT NOTE ON SHIPPING: We will NOT ship Monkey Puzzle, American Chestnut, or Badgersett Hazelnut seeds until March or early April (because they cannot freeze). We strongly urge you to order these SEPARATELY from all other seeds (but any of the three together is fine). If you do include any of these rare tree crop seeds in an order along with other seeds, the entire order will not ship until March or early April. We cannot ship hazelnut seeds or plants to CA, WA, OR, or Canada.
10 seeds for $20 ($2 per seed)
25 seeds for $37.50 ($1.50 per seed)
50 seeds for $50 ($1 per seed)
100 seeds for $75 (75 cents per seed)
200 seeds for $130 (65 cents per seed)
Corylus complex hybrids (C. americana x C. avellana x C. cornuta)
Origin: Southeast Minnesota via NW Illinois. Badgersett's hazelnut hybrid swarm is a mix of wild American hazelnuts (C. americana) from Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Wisconsin; heritage European hazelnut (C. avellana) cultivars from the Mediterranean and Central Europe; and a wild beaked hazelnut (C. cornuta) from Peace River, Alberta; plus whatever wild pollen has managed to float into the various breeding plots over the last century. Initial F1 crosses between the various species were made by amateur breeders in the 1910s-1950s. Our seed parents are at least 3 generations of selection and recombination (most are 4 or 5) past the initial F1 species cross.
Improvement Status: Cultivated, semi-domesticated
Life Cycle: Perennial
Hazelnuts are a delicious, nutritious, calorically dense nut crop borne on rugged, adaptable, medium-size shrubs. Native to much of the temperate Northern Hemisphere, hazelnuts have been a prized and highly sought-after food source - both for people and wildlife - wherever they're found, since time immemorial.
Our open-pollinated, hybrid hazelnut seeds come from bushes selected by Philip Rutter of Badgersett Research Farm, from a large expansion planting in NW Illinois of seedlings of some of Badgersett's most promising breeding lines. Badgersett's decades of breeding work has been to hybridize two species of hazelnut native to North America - the American and the beaked hazelnut - with the European hazelnut, in order to create a productive, resilient crop that combines the useful qualities of each species and is adaptable to both small and large-scale agricultural production. We're helping to continue that work by making this seed available to the general public.
Seed is selected based on visual assessment of total kernel productivity, kernel size, and the overall characteristics of the maternal breeding line, including bush vigor, pest, and disease resistance. Our most important criteria is total kernel productivity with adequate kernel size. Our seed parents have nuts large enough for currently existing mechanical cracking and processing machinery, but most are smaller than commercial European hazelnuts. Most bushes have kernels that average 0.5-0.65 grams when dried hard. A few will be larger.
Medium/tall bushes have a mature bush height greater than 10’, with some reaching 15’ if you let them keep growing and growing. They tend to have smaller crowns and thicker, straighter stems than short bushes. Based on the performance of the parent breeding lines, mature bush height appears to be highly heritable, but there will be some variation - some "short" seeds will make "tall" plants, and some "tall" seeds will make "short" plants.
Seeds will ship fully stratified and ready to germinate in the spring. You can continue storing them in the refrigerator (keep moist, 32-40F) to slow down or stop germination. To germinate, keep warm and moist; 80F is ideal. For small seed lots, placing them in vented plastic bags with some moist peat or potting mix works well for refrigerator storage and germination, but isn't strictly necessary as long as the seeds stay moist.