Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hazels are FINALLY getting ripe; and...

This is possibly the latest I have ever seen the neohybrid hazels ripen.  We're still just in the early part of ripening; many totally white/green nuts are still there; but you can reliably expect to find ripe bushes to pick now.  That was not true just a week ago- which would normally be near mid-peak.

When they choose to get ripe has long been a puzzle, and continues to be so.  Cold and heat are factors, but not consistent and not the only factors.

A thing to keep in mind as you harvest - the appropriate fall color for hazel leaves is not yellow or orange, but maroons, purples, and bronzes.

If most of your hazels develop yellow or orange leaves- this is an indicator that they are very under-fertilized.  It may indicate low nitrogen more than other nutrients; more study needed.

These leaves are the right color for a well fertilized hazel - BUT - this is very much the wrong time.

Normally hazels should stay fully green well into October.  You can see the nuts and husks are far from ripe here- and yet the leaves are turning.

This is another indication of inadequate fertilization. There can be many details to why; but the basic factor is that this bush is carrying more nuts than it can feed through normal channels.

As a sign of the progress towards domestication; this is a good one.  Wild plants will drop nuts they cannot support- giving you no crop.  The neohybrid hazels have been selected to bear the crop, no matter what; since we're talking about feeding people.  This premature fall color means the plant is now stripping nutrients from adjacent leaves - and wood - to finish the nuts.  You'll get ripe nuts; but this is likely to kill the wood back one - two years.

If we have the ability, we'll fertilize hazels like this immediately with foliar fertilizer; that can save the wood.  In the long run; you need to figure out how to keep the plants fed well enough that they stay green - into October.

No comments:

Post a Comment