How do I harvest and prepare hazelnuts?
Hello - We have a hazelnut bush/tree that was very productive this year and I need some advice on harvesting and preparing the nuts. 1. How do I know when to harvest the nuts (Do I wait for them to fall from the tree? Can I harvest them green? Can I pull loose ones off the tree?) 2. And what are the recommended steps for drying, roasting, and then preserving/storing the nuts? (Should I float them in water in eliminate the empty shells?) There is a lot of conflicting info on-line (probably due somewhat to regional climate differences), and I would like to know what the recommended approach is here in Marlyland. Thanks!
For harvesting hazelnuts, wait until they fall from the tree and then collect them and begin the drying process. The following fact sheet has good information about how to prepare hazelnuts after harvest. We do not have a hazelnut specialist at the University of Maryland, but Oregon State is one of the leaders in tree nut research and this fact sheet from them is a reliable reference.