Growing Cob-Nuts and Filberts
Though cob-nuts and filberts are grown in exactly the same manner as almonds, however the nuts themselves are quite different. The filbert has a husk longer than the nut itself, but the husk of the cob-nut is shorter.
Cob-nuts and filberts do well on almost every type ofbut, on the whole, crop better on light sandy soils because they do not then make strong growth. If they are grown on heavy clays do not give them fertilizers.
Buy two-year-old trees on 15-in. stems and plant them 15 ft. square in November, if possible, so that the roots can establish themselves before the winter. Dig holes 3 ft. across and 9 in. deep and spread the roots out evenly and carefully in them. Ram the soil down firmly as it is put back to cover the roots. The trees need staking only if the situation is very exposed.
In May apply well-rottedor farmyard manure as a dressing all over the ground round the trees at the rate of a good barrowload to 10 sq.yds. on light sandy soil apply bone meal in addition at 3 oz. per sq. yd. in February.
Aim to produce seven or eight good branches and shape the tree like a cup with an open centre. Cut back the leaders by half to just above an outward pointing bud and cut back the laterals by about three-quarters with the exception of those that may be needed to form new branches. Reduce the latter by about half only.
For the first five years prune early in March when the male catkins are opening. This will disturb the catkins and so help to distribute the pollen.
After the fifth year prune back the leaders by about a quarter only. Do not prune the short growing spindly laterals at all because it is these that bear the bulk of the female flowers.
Cut back any suckers right to their bases with a sharp knife.
In the summer break back the laterals by about half with the back of the knife blade and leave hanging. (This is known as brutting.) Brutting lets light and air into the tree and prevents the production of secondary growth.
The trees can be propagated vegetatively by bending a branch carefully so that a piece of two-year-old wood may be buried in the soil.
If this is done in the spring, the branch will root by the autumn, when it can be severed from the parent plant.