Our Apologies- Yes, we skipped a year in producing this newsletter, and we are sorry about that. It means we're far behind in passing on critical news, and we won't be able to catch up in this issue. Once again, we need our interested friends (you) to understand that Badgersett Research Farm is still a small and drastically understaffed operation, growing as fast as it can.
Progress It's three steps forward and one step back pretty much all the time. Last year we did have a part time secretary for much of the year, which was a tremendous help. Cindy worked like a trooper, and we miss her. This year we have no secretary, so answering mail and phones is extra difficult when there are other urgent tasks (like planting or harvest or broken machines) clamoring for immediate attention.
We have added both new staff and new machines to move us forward, but it still feels like we need 4 more people & 2 more tractors just to keep our heads above water.
Last year the hazel seed germinated much slower than usual, which meant we had many fewer plants available than expected. Everything we could produce went to existing research and farm projects; even some "Priority 1" projects had to be postponed. And with no extra plants available, there was no immediate need to get out a catalog, so the newsletter ended up being postponed out of existence. This year we have learned a few critical things about germinating hazel seed, and they are off to a good start; at this writing there are about 18,000 hazel tubelings in the pipeline.
Even so; demand continues to greatly exceed the supply of our hybrid hazels, and though we are increasing our production of plants as fast as we can, it will still be a few years before we can simply sell on a "first come, first served" basis. Until then, we have to adhere to our priority system for deciding who gets plants: Priority 1 goes to research plantings, public demonstrations, and the farmers who have already made a commitment to helping develop the crop. Priority 2 includes new seriously interested farmers, and others interested in trials of the hazels in new regions or situations where we can all learn something about their performance. Priority 3 is for the more casually interested.
We expect to fill all Priority 1 and 2 hazel orders this year, and quite a few of the Priority 3 folks, as well. However:
Herbicide Drift '95 = No Chestnuts '96 = No Chestnut Seedlings '97
Those of you who made it to our Field Day in either '95 or '96 saw some of the damage caused to our chestnut trees by herbicide drift from row crops sprayed carelessly on a windy day. While they appeared to have recovered from the damage, in 1996 for the first time ever, most of the chestnut trees failed to bear a crop. It wasn't winter damage; that winter was milder than many others the trees have come through without any problems at all.
It's early to predict, but at the moment it looks like most of the chestnut trees are totally recovered now, and should have a good crop this year; we expect to have chestnut seedlings to sell again in 1998.
Yes,We Have Hazels Available!
The Right Time To Plant Is: Late Spring, Summer, & Fall
Most folks are so used to planting bare-root seedlings, as early as possible in the Spring, that they have a hard time believing that early Spring is actually the wrong time for our plants. Because the nuts are so attractive to birds and mice, we must start them in a greenhouse. That means the best, fastest, cheapest plants we can produce are not the typical bare root dormant seedlings, but actively growing, mini-container "tubelings". One of the great advantages of the tubeling system is that the work of planting can be spread out and performed when convenient, instead of all being crammed into a very short "window" in early Spring.
It also means the plants are simply not big or tough enough to plant until very late Spring or early Summer.
The Cold Spring Means The Plants Will Be Ready Later Than Usual:
When day after day is cloudy and cool, the plants grow more slowly, even
in the greenhouse. And, though we were able to move plants into the shadehouse
a full month earlier than last year, we can't ship them until they are tough
enough for the real world; it just takes a little more time. Thanks for
your patience! Philip A. Rutter
Caveat Emptor! No Kidding.
The various magazine and newspaper stories that have come out about our hybrid hazels have stimulated a lot of demand for hazel seedlings, more than we can handle, as you know. Partly as a result, quite a few nurseries are offering "hazelnut" plants.
Caveat Emptor is Latin for "Let the Buyer Beware"; or politely, "watch out for misleading advertising and/or misinformed sales people"; or more bluntly, "if ya ain't careful, they'll rip ya off". We have had several reports of folks being assured that hazel plants from other sources were "pretty much the same" as our hybrids. Most of the time, this is just a matter of the salesperson really not understanding.
The only other kinds of hazels on the market are either pure European hazel, wild American hazels, or hybrids from Michigan, New York, or the Pacific Northwest. Wild hazel plants will make good cold hardy windbreaks or wildlife plantings, but they will never be satisfactory nut producers; wild nuts are small, and crops are usually small, too. We've seen many nursery catalogs where the listing of "Native American hazelnut" is accompanied by a photograph of a European hazel tree, with huge European nuts. Watch out!
Pure European hazels have two serious flaws; they are not cold-hardy beyond Zone 5, sometimes not beyond 6, and they are uniformly susceptible to "EFB", Eastern Filbert Blight; a native American disease carried by native hazels, to which the natives are essentially resistant. EFB generally kills European hazels within a year or two of infection; and while they may escape infection for 10 years or so, anywhere east of the Mississippi infection is inevitable.
Hybrid hazels from other breeders are quite variable in their characteristics, and require the buyer to do a lot of homework in order to understand what to expect. In our extensive experience, no other hybrids are reliably cold hardy in zone 4, and many are quite susceptible to EFB. Some of them can be quite good, too, in warmer regions.
In the worst case we have heard of, someone bought cheap seedlings elsewhere,
which turned out not only to be just plain old wild American hazel, but
the stock they received all died after planting to boot. Be careful! It's
a jungle out there!
Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is:
All Of Badgersett Is Being Planted To Hazels & Chestnuts 110 Acres; 53 Acres In CRP
We try to be cautious about our expectations for the future of the hybrid hazel and chestnut crops. For years, when people asked "how good are they really?" our answer was always "they're experimental- don't bet the farm." That is still true for most folks. They are still experimental, and we expect to make plenty of mistakes, and find plenty of unforeseen barriers before these are mature technologies.
But following the maturation and analysis of our second generation hazel hybrids, we have to admit we are starting to allow ourselves to believe these hybrids are actually going to become a real, profitable, sensible crop. And we are betting the research farm on it.
Starting in 1996, no row crops are being planted on the farm at all. We need all the space there is for planting and experimentation with the hazels and chestnuts. We are concentrating more on the hazels here than the chestnuts; the hazels are closer to being a real alternative in this region. We continue to plant chestnuts here, but also have plans for the acquisition of another farm, further south, which will be the future focus of our chestnut work. While we still believe we will succeed in growing chestnuts commercially in zone 4, there is no question at the moment but that it is much easier for chestnuts to thrive in zones 5 and 6.
The best tillable land on the farm is being planted to very high density hazels, for research and production. This is where our most promising breeding material goes, in plantings designed to advance the breeding work, test for EFB resistance, and also produce nuts. Original planting rates are sometimes as high as 2,000 plants per acre, though after breeding decisions are made and the culling of less desirable plants, the rate is usually about 600/a.
The remainder of the tillable acreage is now enrolled in the Federal CRP (Conservation Reserve Program), under 2 separate contracts; one for hardwood establishment, and one for a riparian buffer. Both hazels and chestnuts have been certified as acceptable hardwood species for CRP plantings, partly through our own efforts (see R&B #1). Much of Badgersett is classified "Highly Erodible" cropland, due to its hilly nature and the fine silt loam soils here. We'll generally be planting hazels on the south slopes and tops, and chestnuts on the north slopes. The riparian buffer area is to protect a sinkhole that connects to the upper aquifer, and this will be planted to multi-stem type hazels.
Benefits of participating in the CRP are substantial; annual payments replace lost land rent income, and cost sharing for ground preparation, nursery stock, and maintenance, while they will not come close to an actual 50% of our costs, are nonetheless significant, and a great help in getting these acres established.
An apparent drawback of the CRP is that the contracts stipulate that no crops can be harvested while the contracts are in effect; in our case, 10 years. We expect the hazels to actually be in nearly full production in 5 years; so we are forgoing harvest of a valuable crop for quite a while.
What we gain, however, will more than compensate us for the unharvested crops. We will be using these CRP acres to develop the harvesting machinery we've been talking about for years. At the moment, we can't afford to machine harvest most of our hazels, because we would lose the critical plant and nut identity and yield information necessary for the breeding work. On the CRP plantings, however, we can play for several years, picking, but not keeping, the harvest. We expect both to identify necessary adaptations for the machines, and desirable characteristics for the plants, to help direct future breeding work. In addition, we will be learning about possible pest population dynamics(weevils, borers, mice), and potential control measures, without risking economic disaster from lost crops.
We continue to believe that our hybrid hazels, and chestnuts in slightly
warmer areas, are an outstanding option for either old or new CRP holdings.
The cost sharing aspects make establishment much less painful; and the crops
have real potential for generating annual income while protecting highly
erodible land. Think about it!
Badgersett Funds Hazel Cloning Research At University of Nebraska
Starting this year, Badgersett Research is providing basic funding to support a graduate student working under Dr. Paul Read, Head of the Dept. of Horticulture at the University of Nebraska. Dr. Read is one of the world's foremost researchers in the area of woody plant tissue culture. The goal of this research is to develop techniques for commercial production of clonal hazel plants.
Dr. Read already had a student with a deep interest in hazels; Mr. Mehmet Nuri Nas, from Turkey, which of course is the world leader in hazel production. So far they have established over 100 cultures of our hazels.
"Cloned" plants are genetically identical to each other. They are necessary for commercial production because only clonal fields can produce nuts of a uniform quality, in a fashion uniform enough to allow efficient machining. This is a common technique in horticulture, usually achieved by the methods of grafting or rooted cuttings. Hazels, it turns out, are neither easy nor cheap to root, and anyone who has looked at one of our bushes will immediately laugh off the idea of grafting one; sending up new shoots from the root crown is their basic way of life; no graft would survive. Inexpensive production of clonal plants is a critical need.
Fortunately, other techniques exist; foremost among them is "tissue culture", a very powerful technology where a single bud is put into sterile culture in the laboratory, and then multiplied into, potentially, thousands of "plantlets". These are then grown briefly in the greenhouse, to a size suitable for planting in the field. Once specific procedures are established, the cost of such tissue culture derived clones can be very low.
That's the good news. Reality, however, includes the fact that tissue culture practices developed for one plant are rarely of use for any other. Each species requires its own process of development, frequently requiring 2-3 years of laboratory work before commercial scale and quality tissue culture can be reliably pursued. And so far, tissue culture investigations on hazels have been limited to "initial investigations".
All of us interested in developing hazels as a crop need this technology now, however, and Badgersett has decided to proceed.
Help Wanted: Partners
Cloning research is expensive, and we could use your help! Since the U of N is a non-profit institution, donations earmarked for the Horticulture Department's hazel cloning research are tax deductible. (Badgersett won't get any tax benefit) And, to increase the incentive for you to contribute to this important work, Badgersett is pledging to provide clonal plants grown with the new technology, at cost, to each contributing partner: 1 plant per dollar. That means if you contribute $1,000, you are entitled to 1,000 clonal plants, at our cost, once the technology is functioning.
There are several unknowns here, of course. We don't know when, or even if, the tissue culture research will mature into real world technologies. We also don't know what "at cost" is going to mean, particularly in the early days. We hope the time will come when we can produce good plants for perhaps 50¢ apiece; but the initial costs may well be much higher.
If you are interested in helping to advance the development of woody crops, this is an outstanding opportunity; plus, you get the tax benefit of a charitable contribution, and the benefit of access to the first fruits of the new technology. Send your donation and accompanying letter stating that the donation is for hazel cloning research to:
Dr. Paul Read, Head, Horticulture Dept.
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68583-0724
Send Badgersett a copy of the letter, and donation amount; we will send
you a certificate for the cloned plants, redeemable when they become available.
Rutter Family News-
Badgersett is still essentially a family business, and most of our customers are also our friends, so forgive us if we take a little space to catch everyone up.
Brandon graduated from high school last year, and is a National Merit Scholar, just finishing his freshman year at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He'll be working on the farm this summer, thank goodness.
Perry is finishing his sophomore year in high school, and just got back from a school trip to Germany and Norway. He and Brandon were on the Minnesota Championship Envirothon team last year; went to Nationals, finished 12th nationally, and both met girls there that they are still talking with.
Philip is experiencing dramatic improvement in the chronic fatigue syndrome he's been struggling with for years, and is glad to be back (most days); of course, there's only a 10 year backlog of work waiting. The letters of support many of you have sent over those years were greatly appreciated. His mother passed away last October in Hawaii, after a long struggle with cancer; all her children and her husband were with her.
About Root & Branch And Badgersett Research Farm
Badgersett is a private, for-profit research and development business, directed and operated by Mr. Philip A. Rutter. We are not part of any university or non-profit organization, although we cooperate with several. Root & Branch is our newsletter and catalog, written by Mr. Rutter and published once or twice each year, we hope.
We are located in the southeast corner of Minnesota, about 8 miles north of Iowa and 60 miles west of the Mississippi River. The farm is 160 acres of silt-loam soil, on the hilly uplands above the river. Winter temperatures are comparable to those 200 miles north; growing zone 4.
Our first nut trees were planted more than 20 years ago. Large plantings began in 1981.
Goals: To design and develop the plants, tools and techniques needed
for a profitable "woody agriculture"; the production of main-crop
food staples from woody plants; to make these tools and plants available
to others, and to support the new crops and farmers as they grow.
2nd Generation Hybrid Hazels Now Available
Those of you who have been able to attend our field days in the last 2 years have seen the really great crops on the younger hazel rows. They flowered so heavily this spring that it looks like an even larger crop this year. We are reluctant to sell seedlings from plants until they are fully evaluated; our preference is for a minimum of 8 years of growth and exposure to EFB.
In February, March and April of '96 and '97 I cracked more than 8,000 hazelnuts by hand, for analysis of size, flavor, %kernel, and other crop characteristics. The great majority of these nuts were from the 2nd generation of our hybrid selections, and the bottom line is this: the 2nd generation is in fact even better than predicted. (Note that "2nd generation" here means our 2nd; these plants are actually 4-5 generations from the original cross between species.)
Apparently, our process of "semi-controlled" pollination is working well. We remove many thousands of catkins from those bushes that show undesirable characteristics, such as susceptibility to EFB (Eastern Filbert Blight). Doing this has significantly improved the "pollen cloud" responsible for most of our nuts.
In general, the nuts from 2nd generation seedlings average larger, with thinner shells, better pellicles, better taste, and better blight resistance (so far) than their parent generation. In fact, they are so much and so consistently better, that I have been able to raise the standards for 2nd generation material; ie.; plants previously on the "large" side of the borderline between large and medium sized nuts, are now classed as medium. As another indication of the quality of these seedlings, 2 out of a planting of 185 seedlings were found that are of patentable quality; a very high percentage! (We will wait to complete the data, another 2 years, before actually making any decision to patent these.)
We like to have 10 years of data on each plant before we are confident about its performance, but these data are now 8 years deep, and most of these plants will continue to perform as they have so far; based on past experience, probably less than 5% will contract new blight infections at this point, and fewer will show other serious defects.
Starting this year, we will be selling seedlings from these 2nd generation
plants with our lifetime guarantee against blight; these seedlings will
be the 3rd generation. From the geneticist's standpoint, we expect these
3rd generation seedlings to show even further improvement over their parents'
generation; that is what we are breeding for.
Exploring for Hazelnuts in Canada
One of the reasons commercial hazels are presently grown only in the Pacific Northwest is that the cultivars grown there will not grow well anywhere else. A major reason they do not thrive elsewhere is that these cultivars are not reliably "cold hardy" outside of zones 5 or 6. (It's more complicated than that, but the cold is a major factor.) Since we are aiming to generate a broad diversity of cultivars adapted in many different circumstances, it makes sense for us to collect genetic material from as many different regions as we can.
In late summer of 1994 my sons and I combined business with pleasure and made a long trip through Canada, often just on the edge of where the paved roads end and the permafrost begins. It was a wonderful unforgettable experience, we collected a lot of valuable hazel genetic material, and learned a great deal about the natural history of hazels. (Not much is known about the biology of native hazels, since they've only been considered weeds until recently.)
We drove north through Winnipeg on route 6, and fairly quickly found our first surprise near the Watchorn Bay picnic area. Growing among burr oaks and wild roses we found both American hazels (Corylus americana) and Beaked hazels (C. cornuta) growing profusely, and side by side. I hadn't expected to find American hazels this far north at all, since in Minnesota the Beaked hazel totally dominates the northern part of the state. We spent quite a while in this patch, looking for 2 things; any signs of natural hybrids between the 2 species, and EFB. We couldn't find either, and we looked hard. We did find weevily nuts, and interestingly, there were twice as many weevils in the American nuts. An interesting hint- another clue we noticed after the trip was that we only found weevily hazels where there were also oaks
I kept a journal so I'd be able to nail down precise locations for the seed we collected- I put a few random observations in as well:
Aug. 5. Didn't get eaten by bears; very disappointing. Collected more beaked around edge of lake; not right on the edge of the sedge mat, but up on the bank. Associated plants jack pine, alder, rose, juneberry, chokecherry, aspen; spruces growing just a few yards away, but not with hazels. Mosquitoes are really phenomenal. Not uncommon to find hazels less than 2' tall bearing nuts; tallest plant 5'. Aug. 7- It's easy to see why settlers hated hazel thickets; they're near impossible to move through, see through, or hunt in, and full of mosquitoes.
#8. Just West of Prince Albert, on sand; in disturbed aspen with occasional spruce; these hazel bushes were quite different in form from others; a few stems per clone (2-5) and tall, 15' with tree-like horizontal branches. No EFB seen, on considerable examination (>100 plants). 53° 15' N. Latitude; 106° 30' E. Longitude, approximately. #9 well west of PA, on glacial gravel; in a disturbed roadside windbreak remnant of aspen woods (most is under cultivation here). Bush form standard, no taller than 5'. 53° 25' N. Latitude; 108° 05' E. Longitude.
Though many of the nuts were not fully mature at this time, I knew from experience that they could be picked and germinated if handled carefully. Waiting for fully mature seed often results in no seed- critters get it immediately when it is ripe. We collected seed across Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and at one site in eastern Alberta, where we turned south again. Down across the prairies to Glacier National Park there were no hazels; we didn't find them again until the Black Hills, where we also found EFB, and weevils. We found wild hazels growing on sand, gravel, rock, and heavy loam; clearly, they are adaptable.
One phenomenon we noticed seems worrisome; wherever the landscape has been significantly disturbed, the hazels are gone, and they do not seem to reestablish themselves very easily. All along the way in Saskatchewan we saw fields of aspen-hazel parkland that had just been cleared to plant canola- and all the hazel genes that might have been available there are now gone forever. Sure, there is quite a lot of parkland left, but we seem to be hitting the end of a lot of "endless" resources these days.
The seed we gathered is now growing at Badgersett, and will be carefully
evaluated and incorporated into our breeding programs. We expect a wide
variety of useful traits to be derived from these extremely cold hardy sources.
We intend to add to our collections of wild germplasm whenever we can- it's
a fascinating kind of vacation.
Badgersett Hybrid Chestnuts
No Chestnut Trees Available 1997 :
We actually suffered significant herbicide drift damage in both 1995 and 1996; different farmers, different herbicides. While no one in the region wound up going to law, damage was widespread enough that it was seriously considered. Besides the loss of the chestnut crop in 1996, we had several apple trees die or lose most of their canopy, and several full grown sugar maples died. We are glad to know the hazels can take such abuse, and it is worth knowing that the chestnuts are more sensitive. Chestnuts have thin, green bark until several decades old; this may be part of the reason. At the moment, the chestnut trees here are looking great, and we expect a good crop.
Blight Resistance of Our Hybrid Chestnuts: Field Results
Since we do not yet have chestnut blight at Badgersett Research Farm, we have previously been unable to make any statements regarding the reaction to blight that could be expected in our hybrid chestnuts. We have been concentrating on selection of strains and individuals for superior nut, crop, and winter hardiness characteristics here. Obviously, however, for any chestnut strain to be truly useful, it must be blight resistant, and while we started with parentages that were reputed to be resistant, only direct tests against the disease can tell for certain what the performance of the seedlings will be.
We now have the first results of direct tests of our hybrid chestnuts against the blight, at 2 different locations; in China, where the blight is everywhere, and in Georgia; basically, the results are as we hoped; the great majority of the seedlings show functional resistance to the blight, with a few susceptible individuals in all cases. This is great news; most pure Chinese chestnut lines will perform no better.
We can now recommend that folks in areas with blight can try our hybrid chestnuts, with the expectation that 80-85% will prove adequately resistant.
Following is the text of two letters reporting the details, from Dr. Hongwen Huang, who performed the tests.
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 96 11:18:53 EST
From: hongwen huang <HHUANG1@UKCC.uky.edu>
Subject: RE: report of blight resistance of your breeding lines in Alabama
In response to your request for the results of my performance tests of chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) resistance of your advanced breeding lines grown in Auburn, Alabama, the following statement is based on my observations and best knowledge.
As you know, I collected seeds of some 25 trees, representative of your breeding lines in your breeding orchard, and 4 random selections of pure American chestnut at West Salem, Wis. in Fall 1991. Twenty to 50 seeds from each line and selection were germinated in the greenhouse and transplanted in 18.93-liter polyethylene containers in Spring 1992. All seedlings remained in the containers in an outside growing area under daily sprinkler irrigation. This area was a designated plot for my research on evaluation of blight resistance among Chinese chestnut cultivars using artificial inoculation of virulent C. parasitica strains. Three strains were used: SLA-155 and SLA-389 (provided by Dr. Sandra Anagnostakis, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station) and AL-W ( a wild strain obtained in Alabama).
An evaluation for blight resistance was initially started in Summer 1992 and repeated in 1993. Resistance was rated in 4 scales: very resistant, resistant, susceptible-resistant and susceptible. All pure American seedlings were completely susceptible to C. parasitica and were girdled by blight within 3 weeks and died. Variation of blight resistance was found within and between each seedling progeny of your lines. Most seedlings showed resistance to C. parasitica, ranging from susceptible-resistant to resistant. There were 2-8% seedlings that were completely susceptible and died like pure American chestnuts. To my knowledge, all 25 lines you developed are resistant to C. parasitica, but heterozygotic for at least one gene of blight resistance (2-3 genes involved). Seedlings from each resistant parent line should be expected to segregate for blight resistance genes and the 2-8% susceptible seedlings found in this study should be those homozygotic for all alleles of the related 2-3 genes. This roughly fits the model of 2-3 genes regulating blight resistance. Since this experiment is not formally carried out in an official project, no records are filed and reported. I am personally responsible for the results stated above.
Wuhan Institute of Botany
The Chinese Academy of Sciences
RE: report of blight resistance of your breeding lines in China
I would like to give you a report on an evaluation of your advanced breeding lines for resistance to chestnut blight.
Seedlings of the thirty-six hybrid breeding lines you sent to the Hubei Academy of Agricultural Science were planted at 2 x 4 m spacing in an experimental plot of the Fruit and Tea Institute of the Academy in Spring 1992. When I went back to China in June 1994, I evaluated all lines for resistance to chestnut blight in August. All lines looked healthy and have grown very well in Hubei. Most lines were rated as very resistant (defined as canker width = 1.0 to 3.0 mm on the trees when they were infested by the blight) to resistant (canker width = 3.1 to 5.0 mm). The resistance observed on these lines is comparable to what is usually found in resistant pure Chinese chestnut.
The cankers on these lines were gradually walled off after the initial infection. If you have further inquiries regarding the performance of your breeding lines in Hubei, P.R. China, please don't hesitate to contact me or Professor Zhang at the Fruit and Tea Institute, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Science.
Hongwen Huang Ph.D
Wuhan Institute of Botany
The Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chestnut Weevils Arrive Here
One of the few unwelcome aspects of the Northern Nut Growers Association
tour of Badgersett in 1995 was the definite identification by Dr. Jerry
Payne of a male lesser chestnut weevil found on one of our trees. We fear
it must have come with seed imported from the East, escaping our best efforts
to exclude them. Please use the hot water bath treatment if you are moving
seed from infested areas!! We saw none in '96.
~ 1997 Catalog & Price List ~
Minnesota customers add 6.5% sales tax; shipping extra. Sorry, no sales yet to OR, WA, CA, or FL. Shipping Begins In May-June If you pick up your plants here, we must collect the Minnesota state sales tax. Prices calculated per category, not by total order.
Badgersett Hybrid Hazels are multi-generation selections from crosses between wild American hazels and European hazels. They are bushes, not trees; generally 10-12' tall and 6-8' across at maturity. Often appear to grow slowly for first 1-2 years, while growing deep roots. Plant 3' apart for snow fence, 6' for maximum nut production. Absolutely cold hardy to Zone 4: spring freezes do not affect crop. Try in Zone 3. All are seedlings, so performance will vary; ie., some seedlings of "Large" parents will bear small nuts, and vice-versa; about 60% of seedlings strongly resemble the parent. Detailed planting instructions shipped with plants.
Guaranteed EFB Resistant Hybrid Hazelnuts
Lifetime replacement guarantee for any that ever die of Eastern Filbert
Blight (EFB). 8-18" tall, greenhouse grown in "plug" containers.
Shipped fully acclimated. For best results, plant directly into their permanent
Seedlings from healthy bushes with large crops of nuts smaller than preferred for human consumption, about the size of wild hazels. We do not allow these bushes to shed pollen, so all these were fathered by bushes with larger nuts. First rate wildlife cover and food crop, excellent snow fence or windbreak.
1-10 plants -------$2.98
Either from bushes with nuts just a little smaller than we want for human use, or from bushes which may not be as regularly productive as we like to see; great for wildlife, windbreaks, and snowfence; some of these will bear large nuts.
Parents of these meet all our criteria for health and performance. The nuts are small for the in-shell market but easily large enough for processing or marketing as cleaned nutmeats.
Not as large as the big Oregon nuts, but big enough to sell in-shell. Supply limited!
Xtra Large Nut- limited avail.
The largest nuts of any guaranteed plants we now have available. Some as large as the big Oregon nuts. Supply very limited!
Select Parent Hazels:
Select parents available will differ from year to year; these are some our very best plants and best parents. Availability is very limited for the next 2 years, due to our own extensive expansion requirements.
Medium Nut - R-171
First nuts at age 3; a seedling of G-102-S, we expect many seedlings actually to bear Large nuts. Consistently high production, excellent kernel characteristics.
Xtra-Large Nut - Q-214-S
Bore its first nuts at age 5, a seedling of G-042-S. Good flavor, about 40% kernel.
Experimental Hybrid Hazelnuts
Note: We sell these because we feel they are low risk and worth trying. Not guaranteed against EFB, even though most should prove resistant. Seedlings from plants with superior nut characteristics, but some known or possible susceptibility to EFB. Never from plants that are severely affected by the disease. Pollen parent must be one of our disease-free hybrids, so these are quite promising, many will outperform their parents.
Exp-Medium Nut -Wildlife
These experimental plants are worth while because they come from a very thin-shelled line; kernel yields can be high even when nuts are on the small side.
Because we always have some categories that run out early, your chances of having your order filled will be greatly increased if you signify that you are willing to accept substitutions. We won't send you anything we don't consider worthwhile, or anything we wouldn't plant ourselves.
NEW Experimental Technique Bare Root Hazel CROWNS
We are always looking for ways to make establishing new plantings easier and cheaper. One possible avenue we are pursuing is to transplant, bare-root, just the roots. Theoretically, this can be done at any time of the year, and new sprouts will grow only at the rate the roots can supply water. We are trying this ourselves, and for anyone who would like to also give this a try, we have some Middle-Nut Wildlife quality crowns available this year. Prices are lower than for whole plants because digging, handling, and packing are much less labor intensive. 2 year old crowns.
Hazel Home Video
Not a professional production, but much better than most amateur tapes. Valuable guided tour of Badgersett, with in depth information on producing our hybrid hazels. Has a few glimpses of chestnuts, too. Reviews have been good, but guaranteed to bore anyone not seriously interested! This tape was made in 1994, and in some respects is now seriously out of date; remaining tapes on sale at reduced price. About 50 minutes.
Video, post paid- clearance $10.00
We're pretty embarrassed about the fact that we promised to produce the Primer 2 years ago, and haven't done it yet. We still intend to do it: we need to. A newsletter is an unsatisfactory method for communicating basic growing and crop information; there is never enough room for detail, and newsletters by their nature tend to disappear. This year we hope to produce the 1st annual "Hazel Primer". This will be a complete discussion of anything we can think of relevant to growing hybrid hazels, and developing them as a real crop. It will be however long it needs to be, durable, and we'll update it each year, to include new information. Delivery date is still uncertain
(for those still waiting- thanks for your patience)
Hazel Primer, post paid $5.00
These extremely heavy duty tools are designed to make a hole exactly the size and shape of our tubes. Excellent for larger plantings or stony soils. One person can prepare holes faster than 3 people can plant them. Solid machined steel spike on ash handle. Not cheap!
Planting Dibble $56.00
Badgersett T shirts
You know someone who needs one of these! Hanes "Beefy-T" all cotton; Red or Grey; these have our smiling Badger, our name, and the very true phrase; "The Future Of The World Is Nuts!"
T Shirt- state size and color $14.85
1997 Field Day
Sat., August 23rd (Sunday if it rains)
Normally we try to have our Field Day on the last Saturday of August, but again this year several factors have combined to make us shift the date back a week. The last Saturday would be the 30th, this year, which conflicts with the traditional Labor Day Weekend, when many families have trips planned far in advance.
We expect a really heavy hazel crop, and lots of visitors.
Most of the hazels were absolutely packed with flowers in April; many had female flowers in (almost) every bud on the bush. It looks like another record crop for us.
The Hazel Maze Is Mature and Great Fun- although not all the bushes are full sized, the maze is big enough so only very tall adults can see over their tops- should be quite a few nuts in it this year.
Come see the new large scale plantings- we will be establishing almost 30 acres this year, which will require new methods and machines for getting things done. If you are thinking about large plantings yourself, you should come see.
Tours will run all day; there'll be lunch wagon food available on site, and plants to buy.
Sorry, No Hazel Oil-
For the last 2 years we've been offering hazel oil for sale at our various events, and we've had lots of folks asking for it, and lots of return customers. This particular brand is put out by Paradigm Foodworks in Oregon, is cold-pressed, and the best hazel oil we've ever found. A problem with most kinds on the market is rancidity- if it is too old, or hasn't been stored right, it can go "off", leaving it at best flavorless, and at worst vile. However the Paradigm folks do theirs, it works; we've kept it at room temperature for 2 years with no flavor loss or spoilage. It's wonderful stuff for lots of cooking and pastry uses, or salad dressings.
Unfortunately, it simply isn't available this year. When we called to order more, we were told the hazel crops recently had just been too small, and there were no nuts available for the oil press. They've been turning customers away for months.
Tough luck for our tummies; but another indication of markets for us growers...
Are You Interested In Car Pooling To Attend The Field Day?
It has been brought to our attention that a number of interested folks have been unable to reach our Field Day tours because they do not drive themselves, and could not find a ride. So, we will be helping those seeking rides, or those who would just like some company for the trip, to get together.
If you need a ride, or are willing to be a driver, please drop
us a note or leave a message on our answering machine giving the details;
we will try to put you in touch with interested folks from your own area.