OSU 541.147 Hazelnut-A New Hybrid Hazelnut

Nuts (top) raw kernels (middle) and blanched kernels

of ‘Yamhill’, OSU 541.147, and ‘Barcelona’

Corvallis, OR: OSU 541.147 is a new hybrid hazelnut (Corylus) cultivar for eastern North America. It was released by the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium in Apr 2020 for its resistance to eastern filbert blight (EFB) caused by the fungus Anisogramma anomala, suitability to the kernel market, and superiority in nut yield and kernel quality when compared with hybrid hazelnut seedling populations. It was selected and initially evaluated at Oregon State University with additional testing at Rutgers University in New Jersey. In Oregon, trees are upright, susceptible to bud mites, and suited to the kernel market. In New Jersey, plants are vigorous, upright, and productive, and its catkins show superior cold hardiness to European cultivars. OSU 541.147 will be marketed under the trademarked name “The Beast,” a name chosen to reflect its vigor, productivity, and EFB resistance in New Jersey.

In Oregon, the OSU 541.147 hazelnut is described based on the replicated trials planted in Corvallis in 2001 and 2014. In both trials, the trees had an upright growth habit and vigor similar to other C. avellana selections. In the 2001 trial, the trees produced a few nuts in 2003 and more nuts in subsequent years. The nuts are borne in clusters of three to four in husks ∼60% longer than the nuts. The nuts are slightly long, but the shape is commercially acceptable.

In New Jersey, Trees of OSU 541.147 were first planted in 2001 in the research plots at Rutgers University (East Brunswick, NJ) where the EFB pressure has been very high and resistance from ‘Gasaway’ is no longer effective. Additional trees were planted at the Rutgers Specialty Crop Research and Extension Center in Cream Ridge that same year. The original trees continue to thrive after 21 years, and trees in both NJ locations have remained vigorous, regularly produce a good crop of nuts, and are free of bud mite. Even on sandy soils with no irrigation and limited fertilizer inputs, the trees have been vigorous and productive. They produce fewer suckers than other cultivars and selections (data not shown).

OSU 541.147 is being released for eastern North America to allow hazelnut production where EFB and climatic conditions are major obstacles. Each seedling is a unique genotype, and most are inferior to the clonal selection OSU 541.147 . It is unlikely that OSU 541.147 will be planted in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where superior and well-adapted C. avellana cultivars (e.g., ‘Jefferson’, ‘Yamhill’, ‘Wepster’, ‘McDonald’, and ‘PollyO’) have been planted. However, OSU 541.147 may have value in colder areas of the Pacific Northwestern United States, such as the Columbia Basin (eastern Washington and Hermiston, OR). OSU 541.147 may also be well-adapted to northern Europe, Ukraine, and other areas where temperatures are colder than ideal for pure European hazelnut.

OSU 541.147 was jointly released by the four institutions of the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium in Apr 2020. U.S. Plant Patent No. 33561 was published for OSU 541.147 hazelnut on 19 Oct 2021, and Rutgers University is leading commercialization efforts. Royalty income will be shared by the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium members. Trees are being sold under the name “The Beast” for which a registered trademark will be sought. “The Beast” reflects its vigor, productivity, and absence of EFB in New Jersey. OSU 541.147 is being micropropagated by North American Plants in Lafayette, OR. Licensed nurseries, from whom trees may be purchased, include Foggy Bottom Nursery (Columbus, NJ), Great Plains Nursery (Weston, NE), and Z’s Nutty Ridge (McGraw, NY). Licensing in the United States is nonexclusive, and others are welcome to apply. Nurseries interested in obtaining a license should contact Deborah Perez in the research office at Rutgers University.

Dr. Mehlenbaher is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University. His research consists of plant breeding and genetics. His efforts are to identify sources of resistance to eastern filbert blight (EFB) and DNA markers linked to these new sources of resistance.

The entire paper can be read on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal website at:


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