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TREES & Plants

American hazelnut

American hazelnut, a medium to large-sized suckering shrub, is best used for naturalization.  Whether planted in full sun or full shade, this Chicago-area native shrub is a great addition to the Midwestern landscape.  Its nuts, maturing from September to October, attract seed-eating birds, such as blue jays and woodpeckers. 

Botanical name: 
Corylus americana
All Common Names: 
American hazelnut, American Filbert, American hazel
Family (English): 
Birch
Family (Botanic): 
Betulaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Occasional drought
  • Alkaline soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Size Range: 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Rounded
  • Thicket-forming
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Screen
More Information: 

Size and Form

6 to 10 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide; thicket forming with a rounded habit.

Tree & Plant Care

Prune unwanted suckers to maintain size and shape.
Adaptable to  a range of soil pH

Disease, pests and problems

Japanese beetles, scale insects, filbert blight

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 5

Attracts birds & butterflies

Attracts seed eaters, such as blue jays and woodpeckers.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves; ovate to heart-shaped with a toothed margin.
Green in summer with some mild yellow fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Inconspicuous; tiny male flowers in pendulous catkins; tiny pink females at the end of branches.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Edible hazelnuts (filberts)  enclosed in a frilly husk; mature from September to October.