Growing Cobnuts And Filberts

Soil and Situation. Cobnuts And Filberts will succeed in a wide variety of positions from full sun to shade and are not particular as regards soil, though they do not crop well on heavy, wet clays. Preparation should be as thorough as possible and a little well-rotted manure may be worked in.

Planting. From late October to mid-March as for apples. Other details are also the same.

Pollination. Incompatibility does not exist, but some varieties produce little pollen and so are bad pollinators. These should be interplanted with varieties that produce pollen freely.

Form of Training. Trees are almost invariably grown as open-centred bushes. In the early stages of growth, winter pruning should be directed towards forming the main framework of these. Inward pointing branches are cut right out. Leading shoots are shortened by about a half and always cut to an outward-pointing bud to keep the centre of the bush open.

Pruning. Established bushes are pruned in late February and March, while in flower and immediately afterwards.. All ingrowing shoots are cut out, also weak or damaged growths. Suckers are removed from the roots by a sharp twist and pull. Side growths are cut back to the first catkin reckoning from the tip, or, if there are no catkins, to the first female (red) flower. Shoots that have catkins only should be left unpruned till these fade, when they are cut back to two buds from.the main stem. All strong side growths are broken to half length in August. This is known as brutting.

Picking and Storing. Cobnuts and filberts are picked towards the end of September. The yellowing of the husks is the signal for this work to start. Nuts may be stored in earthenware jars or crocks between layers of,salt.

Routine Feeding. Well-rotted manure or shoddy may be spread around the trees at 1 cwt. to 15 sq. yd. each spring. Basic slag at 6 oz. per sq. yd., and sulphate of potash at 1 oz. per sq. yd., should be given each October.

Routine Pest Control. If nuts are damaged by weevils which bore holes in them, spray each year at the end of May with derris. Gather up and burn all damaged nuts.

Propagation. By suckers, which may be detached at any time during the planting season. Also by layering in autumn, i.e. bending whippy branches down to soil level, pegging them firmly to the ground and heaping a little soil over them. Layers should be well rooted by the following autumn, when they may be detached and planted on their own.

Nuts are also raised from seeds sown outdoors in March, but seedlings are very variable.

Varieties. *Cosford, Duke of Edinburgh, Kentish Cob, *Pearson’s Prolific, Prolific Filbert, Red Filbert, and White Filbert.

Cobs have short husks, filberts long husks. Kentish Cob is, in fact, a filbert.

*Good pollinators.