To my additional delight, they're running a chicken tractor in the hazels, with about 15 Lace Wyandottes providing a little nitrogen and soil service. The folks here, left to right, are Griff Radulsksi, Sean Hayes (Lewis Center Manager), and John Bergen.
These plants were tubelings- just 2 and a half years ago. The tallest stems here have put on about 4 feet of new growth- so far- this year; Sean is 6 feet tall +. Many of the tubelings are putting on catkins for next year, now; usually an indication that there will be substantial nut bearing next year. There are even a few nuts this year on the clones.
How did they grow these so fast?? This is, in fact, as fast as we've ever seen these hazels grow; probably the fastest, period (terrific job, Oberlin!). This plot is used as a teaching research plot, and has been managed as a randomized fertilization demonstration/experiment; with 3 levels of fertility. Oberlin students will be measuring and doing statistics on them in the coming school year. A really big part of "how" - is very simple. They followed instructions, without adding random sorts of unapproved "improvements". :-)
This is one line of the Oberlin hazel tubelings; July 14, 2011.
Another reason for you to come to Badgersett this Saturday for the Field Day- we just planted about 3 acres of hazel tubelings- 3 weeks ago. They look awfully small- but they're on their way.