McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Choosing a proper site for a hazelnut orchard is the most important step a grower can take to establish a successful operation, according to an Oregon State University Extension agent.
"Pick the best site, because it's hard to turn a poor site into a productive orchard," said Jeff Olsen, orchard crops extension agent for the north Willamette Valley.
Top sites are relatively level and contain silt loam soils conducive to hazelnut production, Olsen said.
Willamette silt loam is the best soil for hazelnut production, Olsen said. Other top soils include Helvetia silt loam and Woodburn silt loam.
Aloha silt loam is considered a mid-range soil, Olsen said. Huberly silt loam is considered poor for hazelnut production.
Olsen is encouraging growers to bring their soil series type to a new hazelnut orchard workshop he is teaching Dec. 5.
In addition to site selection, the workshop will address high-density tree spacing versus traditional spacing, use of pollinator trees and other topics.
The workshop begins at 1 p.m. at the Yamhill County Public Works Auditorium, which is behind the OSU Yamhill County Extension Office, 2050 N.E. Lafayette Ave. in McMinnville.
The workshop is free and no registration is required.