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21 February 2024 Evaluation of nitrogen fertilization of hybrid hazelnuts (Corylus americana × Corylus avellana) based on leaf nitrogen sufficiency thresholds
Lois C. Braun
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Hybrids between Corylus avellana and Corylus americana are one of several new perennial and winter annual crops being developed as part of the Forever Green Initiative at the University of Minnesota. As a woody perennial shrub, hazelnuts in agroforestry systems can provide a new revenue source for rural landowners; continuous living cover to prevent soil erosion, sequester soil carbon, protect water quality, and provide wildlife habitat; and a delicious and healthful new local food. If hazelnuts are to fulfill their potential, better germplasm and better nitrogen fertilization recommendations are both needed. We modeled these trials after trials by R.E. Worley, who showed that yields of pecan trees fertilized only when leaf nitrogen (N) fell below critical thresholds were maintained with lower levels of applied N, benefitting both the environment and growers’ profits. Results of trials at three Minnesota sites, comparing N applied only when leaf N fell below 1.8%, 2.0%, or 2.2% with annual N applications and no N over 4 years, support using 2.2% leaf N as the critical threshold for N fertilization. Our results showed that whereas only 8% of N applied annually ended up in the harvested nuts and husks, N that was applied to plants that demonstrated hunger for it was more efficiently taken up. Our results suggest a need for more productive germplasm and further research to develop best management practices for N fertilization.

Lois C. Braun "Evaluation of nitrogen fertilization of hybrid hazelnuts (Corylus americana × Corylus avellana) based on leaf nitrogen sufficiency thresholds," Canadian Journal of Plant Science 104(3), 217-229, (21 February 2024).
Received: 3 January 2023; Accepted: 6 January 2024; Published: 21 February 2024

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Corylus americana
Corylus avellana
leaf nutrient thresholds
nutrient recommendations
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