The hazel is a vigorous shrub with a size of 3 to 6m in height and a high capacity to produce regrowth. Its branches are strong and flexible, with cordate, alternate leaves 5 to 10 cm in size. Hazel is a monoecious plant with unisexual flowers. Male flowers generate a large amount of pollen. Female flowers grow in a staggered fashion and are self-incompatible, so they need cross-pollination to fertilize. Its fruits are dry achenes, with a spherical or oval woody pericarp of 1.5 cm in diameter.
The world production of hazelnut is about 675,000 tons. It is mainly located in Turkey, with 75% of world production. In Spain, the hazel crop groups some 13,500 hectares, in which about 8,000 tons are produced annually.
It adapts well to different types of soil, but prefers loamy, deep soils with a pH between 5.5 and 7.8. It does not tolerate salinity very well. In clay soils they can present problems of root asphyxia and chlorosis. For this reason, it is recommended to have plots with good drainage in the case of growing on those soils.
Hazel adapts perfectly to the temperate climate, with enough humidity in the summer and moderate winds to add to its pollination. In winter it needs to accumulate 700 hours of cold to start a good production cycle.
Its water requirement is around 700-800mm of water per year. Their greatest water needs are during the fertilization season, flower induction and grain formation. The hazel has a superficial root system that is not very extensive.
The most used hazel varieties in Spain are Negret (80% of the planted area), Pauetet and Tonda Giffoni. In this crop it is not necessary to use patterns, because the multiplication of the crop is done by regrowth.
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