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Corylus americana, the American Hazelnut, is a species of the genus Corylus that is native to eastern North America.[1]

It is a medium to large shrub that under some conditions can take the form of a small tree. It is an often multi-stemmed shrub with long, outward growing branches that form a dense, spreading or spherical shape.

American Hazelnut grows as a strong multi-stemmed shrub, with edible nuts that mature in September-October. It is planted by wildlife enthusiasts to attract and keep game in an area.

American hazelnut prefers full sun for best growth and development. Though it can grow and persist in partial shade, plant density and fruit production are greatly reduced. It is a medium to fast growing species, that suckers moderately, eventually producing a multi-stemmed, clump appearance.

American Hazelnut grows to a height of 8-12 feet and with a crown spread of 10 to 15 feet. The species adapts well to a range of soil pH and types, but does best on well-drained loams.

Ecology

The nuts produced by American hazelnut are a mast of squirrels, deer, turkey, woodpeckers, pheasants and other animals. The male catkins are a food staple of ruffed grouse throughout the winter.

Uses

The nuts are edible, although smaller than the more commonly cultivated filberts (Corylus maxima,[1][2] Corylus colurna,[1] Corylus avellana,[2] and hybrids thereof[2]). There are cultivated hybrids of C. americana with C. avellana which aim to combine the larger nuts of the latter with the former’s resistance to a North American fungus Cryptosporella anomala.[2]

Native Americans used C. americana for medicinal purposes.[3]

 

Written on June 13th, 2012 , Forestry Tags:

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