Filbert Hall’s Giant
This old, late-season variety of cultivated hazel, Corylus avellana ‘Hall’s Giant’, also known as Merveille de Bollwiller, originated in France, and despite its name, grows as quite a compact bush. It was named for the size of the nuts, although these are a bit smaller than those of some modern varieties. Very vigorous and exceptionally reliable, bearing heavy crops of large, rather pointed, glossy brown nuts with an excellent flavour, whether eaten fresh or from store. Highly nutritious source of high-quality protein, ‘good fats’, fibre, Vitamin B, folate, iron and other minerals. Harvest as they start falling from the tree. Eat fresh, or dry the crop carefully, then remove the husks and store in a mouse-proof place. Filbert ‘Hall’s Giant’ was the best performer in trials by the Agroforestry Research Trust in Devon. A good choice where weather conditions are poor, and an excellent pollinator of other later-flowering hazels. Attractive catkins with a red tinge in late winter.
Site: Fairly sheltered
Soil: Any reasonable soil which is not waterlogged or over-rich; light, neutral soils preferred
Position: Crops best in full sun, but tolerates light shade
Keep: Until New Year
Pollination: Partially self-fertile, but will crop better grouped with at least one different pollination partner; wild hazel may also pollinate
Uses: Eating fresh or from store, and for cooking; prunings make excellent bean poles, peasticks and wattle fencing
Height: 20’ (6m) if unpruned Spread: 15’ (5m) if unpruned
Learn more about how to choose and grow hazelnuts and other nuts in our advice section and on our resources page.