Hazel - hazelnut
Hazel has a rich history, its nuts, according to archaeologists, were known to man back in ancient times. Both then and now, nuts had high nutritional properties and helped people to satisfy their hunger in an elementary way.
It is not known exactly when exactly hazelnuts were grown in the culture of each country or region, but there is unique written evidence that in the Caucasus, for example, hazel has been grown as a cultivated plant for more than 6000 years.
Common hazelor Hazel or Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) - a type of deciduous woody shrubs and trees of the genus Hazel (Corylus) of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
As for our country, in addition to the wild thickets of hazelnuts, which were periodically visited by the local population, before the start of breeding activity, I.V. Michurin did not know about the cultivated nut. The first, actually varietal hazelnut plants, were obtained by Michurin in the early 20th century; In addition to high winter hardiness, which is also characteristic of wild-growing forms, the cultivated hazel was characterized by a much higher yield.
Currently, hazel is still a rare guest in private gardens, and there is no industrial plantation of substantial size in Russia at all. However, in recent years there has been a tendency to increase demand for hazel planting material, which means that in the near future the areas occupied by hazel should increase.
Hazelnuts, in addition to the excellent taste that almost everyone likes, and a large number of calories (in terms of this indicator, hazel surpasses even meat), contain a whole set of substances useful to the human body. Each hazelnut nucleolus contains more than 70% fatty oils, more than 18% protein, about 5% sugar and more than 3% fiber. In addition, hazel kernels contain carotene, biotin, a whole galaxy of vitamins, as well as macro- and microelements. Hazel leaf blades contain essential oils, myricitrozil glycoside, more than 8% tannins and a significant amount of ascorbic acid, about twice as high as in nuts. Hazelnut shoot bark, which is especially appreciated in Japan, contains, in addition to essential oil, tannins, betulin, palmetic acid and more than 20% of tannins.
In different countries of the world, hazel-based preparations are used, they are used for skin diseases, malfunctions of the liver and kidneys.
But hazel is not only valued for nuts, this plant, tall and slender, is often used to decorate a variety of spaces. Large and dense foliage of hazel is not afraid of dust and gassed air of cities, it pleases the eye with a rich green color during the warm season, and in the autumn, hazelnut revives the gray landscape, clothed in a bright yellow shade.
Using hazel nuts
In addition to fresh consumption, hazel kernels go for various types of processing. Nuts are successfully used not only in the confectionery industry, but also in the perfumery, soap and paint and varnish industries. Even the cake that remains after squeezing the oil from the nuts does not go to waste - it is an excellent ingredient for halva production.
Hazel wood has long been in great demand among wooden craftsmen, they used it to produce various tools for the garden, in the hazel shoots they made flexible and durable rods and canes, as well as hoops for barrels. Even the wattle fence familiar to many - a strong and light fence for the garden, also woven from the shoots of hazel.
By the way, many paintings by famous artists were written using hazel, charcoal from burning hazel wood was previously used instead of a simple pencil.
Hazel is a perennial culture belonging to the Berezov family and belonging to the family Hazel. It is widely distributed in the natural environment, growing mostly in the forest, forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part of Russia and the Caucasus. Most often, hazel literally captures the undergrowth of broad-leaved and mixed forests, growing on fairly well-lit parts. Hazel felling and burning are actively overgrown, where sometimes a real forest of hazel arises, each tree of which gives fruit for up to eight decades.
Growing on a slope or near a ravine, hazel with its powerful root system is able to stop the destructive erosion of the soil, so it is often used to fix gullies and slopes.
Hazel is considered to be a rather early crop, although seedlings do not give their first fruits soon (6-9 years after germination), but vegetatively propagated hazel plants bear fruit quickly, usually in the fifth year. Unfortunately, hazel gives yields irregularly, usually after years of abundant yields a year or even two low yields or even a complete absence of nuts follow. Harvest from an adult tree of hazel in the wild is small, usually no more than three kilograms, and on average 1.5 kg, but the yield from varietal hazel is several times greater, it reaches nine kilograms.
Of the undoubted positive qualities of hazel, high winter hardiness can be noted (even flowers can survive a temperature drop of 7-8 degrees Celsius), its weak drought tolerance and shade tolerance can be distinguished from hazel deficiencies.
In relation to soil, hazel is considered to be a moderately demanding plant, but grows best and yields maximum yields on highly fertile, well-drained, pH neutral and light on soil types. Worst of all, hazelnuts grow on overly compacted soils, as well as dry soils and sandy soils.
Externally, hazel, depending on the place of growth, can be either a shrub, sometimes reaching a height of seven meters, or a tree, about five meters high. Hazel blossoms usually in April, sometimes at that time the snow still lies, and even more than a week is left before the leaf blades open. The optimum temperature for flowering hazel 13-14 degrees above zero. The vast majority of hazel flowers are formed on annual young growths, they are pollinated by the wind. It has been noticed that on one hazelnut plant of male and female flowers, about half each, however, to get maximum yields, it is better if at least two varieties of hazel grow on the site.
The fruit of the hazel, which we call a nut, is biologically called so - a single-seeded nut, it has a rather dense shell, which is surrounded by a leaf wrapper - plush. Usually, the degree of maturity of hazel nuts is precisely determined by the plus: as soon as its edges dry, the nuts can be torn off, otherwise they themselves will fall out of the wrapper and they will have to be collected from the ground.
Most often, nuts are arranged in three or four pieces and are concentrated on the tips of the shoots. One wild hazel nut weighs about three grams, cultivated - about twice as much.
The root system of hazel is distinguished by its power, however, despite its large volume, most of the roots are concentrated at the surface of the soil and are unable to extract moisture from deep layers. There is mycorrhiza on the roots of hazelnuts, these are soil fungi living in symbiosis with the plant, which is why hazel dug in the forest often does not take root on the site.
Varieties of hazel
Over the years of breeding work with hazel, which in culture is usually called hazelnut, many varieties of it have been created. In the State register of breeding achievements at the moment there are 21 varieties of this culture. Hazel cultivars, designed for cultivation in central Russia, were bred for the most part in the Ivanteyevsky Forest Nursery, which is located in the Moscow Region. The most interesting of these varieties of hazel are: Academician Yablokov, Ivanteyevsky red, Kudrayf, Moscow early, Moscow ruby, Firstborn, Purple, Sugar and Tambov early. In Ufa, received a magnificent cultivation of hazelnut Recognition, which can also be grown in the middle lane.
More thermophilic varieties of hazel, suitable for cultivation in the southern regions, were mostly obtained at scientific institutes in Sochi and Krasnodar, these are Ata-Baba, Cherkessky 2, Roman, Caucasus, Karamanovsky, Kuban, Perestroika, Sochi 1 and Sochi 2.
As we already mentioned, for pollinating and obtaining the highest possible yields on the site, it is better to plant not one, but several varieties of hazel. Among the variety of hazel varieties there are cultivars, which are excellent pollinating varieties, these are Pervenets and Tambov early.
When purchasing this or that cultivar of hazel in the nursery, you should know that seedlings with green leaves, respectively green leaf varieties, are much more resistant to frost than red leaf varietieshowever, among the red-leaf varieties there are winter-hardy ones, these are: Maria Makarevich, Pushkin Red and the Miracle of All Saints.
How to propagate hazel?
You can try to buy any of these varieties of hazel in the nursery, but this is not always possible, the planting material of this crop is still not enough, because the demand for it is not very high. If you did not find the desired hazelnut variety in the nursery, but a neighbor has a bush of hazel of the desired variety on the plot, then with his permission you can try to propagate the variety and get the seedling yourself. At the same time, it is not advisable to propagate hazelnut by sowing nuts: with a high degree of probability, the seedlings obtained will not retain cultural characteristics. To breed varieties of hazel, you need to use vegetative methods of reproduction. So, it is easiest to get hazel seedlings using root offspring, layering, green cuttings, grafting and dividing the bush.
Propagation of hazel by root offspring is not difficult, but in this way it is difficult to obtain high-quality planting material, and even more so in large quantities. All you need to do is dig up the shoots coming from the roots and carefully separate them from the mother plant. Further, shoots of hazelnuts with roots can be planted in a permanent place or on a bed for growing.
In order to propagate hazel horizontal layering, you need to bend two or three straight shoots early in spring and fix them on soil or in grooves with a depth of 11-12 cm using wooden or metal brackets. Next, you need to wait until vertical shoots begin to grow from the hazel buds, and as soon as they reach a height of 20 cm, spud them with half-loose, moist and nutritious soil. In autumn, the shoots of hazel need to be bled out, the roots should already have formed on them by this moment, such shoots with roots are actually walnut seedlings.
Hazel inoculation - it is good in that it allows you to get the first crop the very next year after its holding. For vaccination, it is necessary to grow stock, that is, hazel seedlings, for which you need to sow nuts in the fall, and in a couple of years it will be possible to plant cuttings of any variety of hazel on the seedlings. The easiest way is to make spring grafting of hazel with a method of improved copulation of the cuttings by grafting cuttings with 2-3 buds.
Breeding green cuttings: for this, in early June, you need to cut the shoots of hazel of the current year, which did not have time to lignify, cut them into cuttings 13-15 cm long, leaving a couple of leaves on the top and plant them in a greenhouse covered with a film. Under the condition of frequent watering (4-5 times a day), the root system will form on the hazelnut cuttings by September and they can be transplanted to a permanent place. This method allows you to get a maximum of planting material from one hazel plant - up to 300 pieces.
Well and naturally bush division - this method is still rarely used, because it is laborious: you need to dig a bush, wash the roots of a hazelnut so that it is clear what to divide, and divide it into parts, each of which should have a part of the root and growth with buds, such parts can then feel free to plant.
Hazel, despite the fact that she lives in the forest without human help, has her own specific requirements for agricultural technology. For example, a planting scheme: it is better to plant hazel so that between the trees there are 3-4 meters of free land, otherwise they will interfere with each other in the future, obscuring and competing for nutrition in the soil.
It is better to plant hazel in the fall, this is the most favorable time. Before planting, the soil should be dug to the depth of the shovel bayonet, adding 3-4 kg of humus or enough rotted manure, 250-300 g of wood ash and 18-20 g of nitrogen phosphate per 1 m²; then the soil should be loosened, leveled and you can dig holes for planting. Make them larger, 75-80 cm deep and wide, put expanded clay in the base, small pieces of bricks or pebbles with a layer of 2.5-3.5 cm, and pour a humus bucket and a bucket of earth from above, mixing well.
On poor soil, you can add a tablespoon of nitroammophoski to the pit. After everything is ready, you can pour a hole, pouring a bucket of water into the base, and proceed with planting. It’s better to plant a seedling of hazel together, one will sprinkle the roots, the other to keep the seedling upright and twitch it a bit to prevent the formation of voids between the roots. Then it remains to completely fill the hole with soil (orienting the hazel seedling so that the root neck is a centimeter higher than the soil level, because if it is deepened, there will be a lot of root shoots), compact the soil, pour another bucket of water and mulch with peat or humus layer in a couple of centimeters.
Hazelnut care is quite standard, it is watering, loosening the soil, removing weeds, fertilizing, pruning.
Watering is very important for hazel, especially in drought. Ideally, you should try to water so that the soil does not dry out much. Of course, if it rains from time to time, then watering can be omitted, but if there is no rain for 7-10 days and there is heat, then you need to water the plants. It is advisable to remove weeds in the near-mouth zone before irrigation, loosen the soil to a depth of 5-7 cm, then pour 2-3 buckets of water under a plant up to five years old, and twice as much under a more mature hazel plant.
Watering during the ripening period of a hazelnut crop is especially important; a sufficient moisture will provide the maximum weight for nuts.
As for feeding hazel, they are usually carried out three times: in early spring - a tablespoon of nitroammophoska for each bush, in June - 250-300 g of wood ash mixed with superphosphate and potassium salt (a teaspoon per bush), and in July - a tablespoon of superphosphate for each bush. After feeding, it is better not to carry out, these will be quite enough.
Approximately every three seasons, hazel bushes can be fed with organic matter, under each plant, add 2.5-3 kg of humus or well-broken manure to the previously loosened soil.
Usually only sanitary cutting of hazel is carried out, cutting out at the beginning of March all dry shoots, broken and those that grow deep into the crown and which will subsequently lead to its thickening. On hazelnut plants from the age of 20 years, it is advisable to rejuvenate pruning, for which you can cut one branch annually over seven years of age.
In older hazel plants, the productivity of which has decreased to a minimum, it is possible to cut off the whole aerial part, leaving only parts of shoots with 2 to 3 buds 7-10 cm high, and form a new bush from young shoots, leaving 6 7 most powerful growths, or even one if you want to form a hazel in the form of a tree. Next year, this shoot of hazel to a height of 45-55 cm needs to be cleaned of growth by cutting them to a stump (this shoot will be a stump), and from the shoots above to form the crown of a hazelnut, leaving the main stem conductor and 4-5 growths that will play the role of skeletal branches.
Typically, the massive drying of the pluses, and, accordingly, the collection of hazel nuts occurs in early September. You can collect both fallen nuts and pluck them. After collecting, the nuts must be dried for two weeks in a dry room. Hazelnuts are considered completely dried when the pluses fall off from them. Such nuts can be stored in paper bags or other containers in a dry room for up to three years.