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Horticulture/american hazelnut

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Question
I recently purchased a few american hazelnut trees for my parents farm.  They are very bushy and i was inquiring on how to safely prune them into a single trunk or main leader.  The general rule of thumb is not to prune more than 30% of the tree.  But i was wondering if this applied to the hazelnut tree.  There are a lot of suckers that are only a year old.  What is the recommended action to get the hazelnuts into a single or even a double leader without over pruning, or waiting too long to prune it and then over stressing the tree.    Thank you

Answer
Hi Darren,

Sorry to be so long answering - my computer was on the fritz, and still is.  I've never personally grown Hazelnut, but I did some research, and it appears that professional growers keep them more shrubby than in tree form.  I would prune suckers, though.  Youtube has several videos on pruning hazelnut trees, as well as growing tips, etc.  

Thanks,
Susan

Horticulture

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Susan Tabor

Expertise

Entomology,plant pathology, agronomy, native plants, useful and edible plants,medicinal plants,landscape design and installation, plant taxonomy and identification, cultivars and varieties, Botany, nutrient deficiencies, plant recommendations and troubleshooting.

Experience

35 years as a professional horticulturist and landscape contractor. I have a network of contacts at leading universities and with acknowledged experts in the field. I've restored the landscapes of several plantations, 2 Governors mansions and owned/managed 3 nursery/garden centers. I discovered a new subspecies of Emelia in 1997. I've locally introduced several native or volunteer species into mainstream landscape design.

Publications
Morning Advocate The Register Better Homes and Gardens All Experts - Approx 1996-97

Education/Credentials
Louisiana State University - horticulture David L. Hoffman - California - phytotheraphy

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