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University of Saskatchewan Hazelnuts


									              University of Saskatchewan Hazelnuts
                     By Dr. Bob Bors, Dept of Plant Sciences

Starting in the in the 40s, Les Kerr of the Forestry farm (Saskatoon) intercrossed wild
hardy American Hazelnuts with cultivated European Hazelnuts and bred them until the
early 1980s. The University of Saskatchewan took over his breeding program in the mid
1980s and began collecting his better selections from many sites throughout
Saskatchewan. In the late 1980s, Rick Sawatzky (of the U of S) began crossing these
selections with pollen from Oregon State University with a goal of increasing nut size
and quality. The seedlings we have been selling since 2007 are from our best F1 hybrids.
F1 hybrids tend to be half way between the parents, but what we really want is the best
characteristics from each parent. We hope to find in this generation, hazelnuts of
superior nut size and quality to make this crop worthwhile commercially.

Experimental hazelnuts
All the hazelnut seedlings that the University of Saskatchewan sells should be considered
experimental. Because of the mixed lineage of our seedlings we expect 1/4th to be very
hardy, ½ to be reasonably hardy with occasional partial dieback and 1/4th to die as soon
as they grow above the snowline. And that would be for the Prairie provinces, it could be
better or worse in other areas. If you are ordering enough plants for a farming operation,
we will likely have you sign a non-propagation agreement.

We also expect 1/4th to have large nuts, ½ to be average size and 1/4th to be puny. So
already the possibility of finding large nuts on hardy bushes is 1/16. But this is just two
characteristics. What about nice sized bushes for machine harvesting, high yields, early
production, and other traits? It becomes a numbers game, but each generation gets better
especially if more plants are being grown. However, anything that survives is almost
certain to be superior to wild hazelnuts.

We would very much like for farmers testing these hazelnuts to be involved in finding the
best ones and testing the next generation of hazelnuts. Years from now when many
farmers have found some good ones, we will want to collect some cuttings and possibly
germinate nuts from the best, propagate them at the university, and then have all the
farmers involved test the best.

Planting instructions
If your plants have already leafed out, plant outside in late spring. Dormant plants can be
planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant bushes 4 to 5 feet apart. Two or more
seedlings are needed for cross pollination. Since this species is wind pollinated, it is best
to plant them very close together. If you have many bushes, it is better to plant them in a
block of several rows next to each other rather than one long row.

Training: Height will likely vary between 5 and 8 feet. The bushes can be as wide as
they are tall. They can be trained either as a bush (recommended) or as a small tree
(perhaps more ornamental).
Fertilizer: Many prairie soils have adequate soil fertility to sustain hazelnuts. Soil testing
and fertilizer incorporation prior to planting is recommended. Subsequent fertilizing
should take place only during spring as rapid succulent growth later in the growing
season is prone to winter injury.

Watering: During the first three years watering is extremely important to tree
establishment. Irrigation is less critical for established trees. The established orchard at
the U of S is seldom irrigated. The underlying heavy clay soil retains enough moisture to
satisfy the trees’ demand. Where irrigation is provided, it should be discontinued in fall
to encourage dormancy.

Harvest: Nuts are usually ready in late August or early September. Usually they will
drop to the ground but you can also pick them off the bushes. Ground squirrels will
gather them if you let them stay on the ground too long but they might also climb into the
bushes and gather some on lower branches. Nut production usually occurs when bushes
are about 5 feet tall.

Ordering Seedlings
If after reading this you are still interested in purchasing Hazelnut seedlings, email a
request for pricing and shipping information to: . That email
address goes to myself and my technicians, so whoever is in charge of taking plant orders
that time of the year can correspond with you.

Thank You: We do not currently receive any funding for breeding hazelnuts but we are
getting funding from Saskatchewan Agriculture to maintain and improve our collection
of prairie hardy fruit crops and to breed Haskap (blue honeysuckles). Royalties from our
new fruit varieties and your purchase of hazelnuts allows us to continue breeding many
types of fruit. For more information on our program go to the University website .
 Co-operative Testing and Ownership Agreement
                             For Hazelnut Seedlings

                      Pickup Dates/Delivery Information

          _____ Pickup on May 7, 2010 at 2909 – 14th St E; Saskatoon

        ____Pickup at Plant Sale (June 4) at 2909 – 14th St E, Saskatoon

                   _____ Delivery COD Bus May / Early June

For Delivery Orders Only: Please give location of nearest Bus Depot and a
telephone number so the Bus Depot can contact you when your order arrives.
The deadline for orders to be shipped is May 3, 2010.

Bus Depot __________________Telephone Number__________________

There will be an additional Handling Charge of $25.00 for orders shipped via

Hazelnuts are in good supply for 2010. For the Co-operative Testing Program
we want a minimum purchase of 25 seedlings. That quantity of plants makes it
worthwhile for working with you in selecting new varieties. Price is $3/plant. If
you want only a few plants you should visit our plant sale on June 4th.

                                                      Quantity        Cost
      Hazelnut Seedlings                              ________      ________
      Handling Charge (Applies to bus deliveries only)                $25.00
      Subtotal                                                      ________
      GST (5% of Subtotal)                                          ________
      PST (5% of Subtotal)                                          ________

      TOTAL COST                                                    ________

Advance Payment Required. We DO NOT accept post dated cheques.
Payment at time of pickup will only occur if we have extra plants.
   Purpose (s): ___ Seedling Trial of Breeding Material; ___ Variety Trial; ___

      ___ Public Garden; ___ Conservation Area; Other _______________

If you are doing research, attach a brief summary of what you will be testing.

I, _______________________________, (fill in name) an authorized
representative of
_______________________________________ (fill in company name or
_______________________________________ (street address)
_______________________________________ (city, province, postal code)
_______________________________________ (telephone, fax, email)
recognize that the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan is
the originator of the plants being sold or distributed and owns the rights to name,
release as varieties and to propagate them. These plants were distributed only
for test purposes by the Department of Plant Sciences and are part of that
breeding program. The plant may be in the form of cuttings, tissue culture,
seedlings or seed selections.

As a cooperator, I (and my company) understand and agree to the following:

Cooperators have a right to the fruit from test plants for the natural life of the
plants. Should the test site be sold, this right is not transferable unless the new
owner signs this agreement.

Cooperators agree to keep track of the number and letter codes associated with
the breeding lines and to send a copy of the plan when they are field planted to
the head of the Fruit Program at the University of Saskatchewan (currently Bob

Cooperators agree not to give new names to the fruit that comes from these
plants nor the breeding lines and selections. The fruit may be referred to
generically as ‘University of Saskatchewan test selections’ or by their specific
codes. The University will only be naming those breeding lines deemed superior.
Often, less than 5 percent of test selections are ever named. In the past, much
confusion resulted when testers took it upon themselves to name breeding lines.

Cooperators agree to neither give nor sell these plants or any vegetative parts
thereof to anyone without permission and will make a reasonable effort to guard
plant parts from being taken.

It is the intention that the best seedlings and plants being tested will eventually
be propagated and tested in larger numbers. Depending on the breeding lines
and their state of development, it may be possible to allow cooperators to
propagate their favorite selections in larger numbers. A cooperator’s request to
propagate should include the breeding code, how many plants will be
propagated, and a short description of the superior attributes of that plant.

Permission to propagate for use on one’s own farm will only be allowed after
consultation and with the permission of the head of the Fruit Program at the
University of Saskatchewan. In many cases there will be several cooperators
pooling their best plants together to do additional testing at several locations. It
would be much more meaningful for our breeding program if several cooperators
are testing a few superior selections rather than just one.

If a cooperator wishes to propagate a test selection on a large scale for
commercial production or for sale to others, a contract will need to be drawn up
by the Office of Research Services at the U of S. Likely, this may require a
royalty be paid per plant. Such royalty will be reasonable and similar to rates for
similar varieties of that crop. If the cooperator is doing a larger scale variety trial
or is involved in a production experiment, it is likely we will not require a royalty
payment, as long as the Fruit Program will be provided results of the experiment.
(Currently, most of our royalties are 50 cents/bush, raspberries are only 20

Representatives and employees of the Fruit Program, Department of Plant
Sciences will be given access, on appointment, to the site(s) where their
numbered plant material is growing. Rarely, the Department of Plant Sciences
may request plant and fruit samples of reasonable number and size for testing
purposes. Likely that would be for a selection being considered for extensive
propagation or being released as a new named variety.
In rare situations when unauthorized budwood distribution has occurred or when
trees have been found to be infected with a virus, the University will arrange to
have test trees destroyed. We have never had to do this but it is a possibility.
Cooperators may destroy any plants they wish, having given advance notice of
one month to the Department of Plant Sciences.

This agreement in no way implies preferential consideration for future
propagation and distribution contracts.

The Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan will have no
liability resulting from the culture of these plants and the use of derivatives from
these plants.

______________________________                    _________________________

              Signature                                          Date

Please print this form, fill it in as much as possible, and mail it with cheque
payable to the University of Saskatchewan:

Prairie Fruit Genebank
Plant Sciences Department
51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon SK S7N 5A8

You don’t have to have a company name to co-operate with us under this
program. By signing (above), you are agreeing to co-operate (re.propagation
and commercialization) with our program should any exceptional seedling(s) be
found among the plants that we sold you. In most cases the trees will mature
and bare good nuts, which you can use for yourself or sell.

We will give priority to those in order that we receive payment.

For further information on our fruit program go to:

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