Like most fruits and nuts, hazelnuts come in many varieties. They differ in size of nut, timing of pollination and harvest, flavour, tree stature, disease and pest resistance and other characteristics. Details are available by following the links at right.
Here's another recent summary of varieties from Oregon, but note that timing of pollen shed is different in BC so pollinizer recommendations do not transfer directly.
The old standard, Barcelona, has been in use for over three hundred years, so its not surprising that forty years of selective breeding at Oregon State University has produced a number of new superior selections. Barcelona, like the other older varieties, is susceptible to Eastern Filbert Blight. Newer varieties are more resistant to the disease and have improved yields and other desirable characteristics.
Current recommendations are to treat new plantings of all varieties with fungicides for at least the first year or two after planting in areas with high disease pressure.
The new varieties, though well-tested in Oregon, are only recently planted in BC and so recomendations (e.g. pollinizers) are made with the caveat that its possible we will learn things that will cause them to change.
Two varieties are needed for pollination and nut production and not all varieties are compatible with each other.
The female, nut bearing, flower must also be receptive at the same time that pollen is released by the catkin (male flower or tassel). Since pollen release and receptivity occur at different times for different varieties, genetic compatibility alone isn't enough to ensure nut production. That's why commercial orchards use two or three compatible pollinizer varieties for each select nut variety. We can help you choose an appropriate mix for your orchard.