Rutgers University initiated a hazelnut research and breeding program in 1996 to address the fatal tree disease eastern filbert blight (EFB) caused by the naturally occurring fungus, Anisogramma anomala.
Rutgers made large seed collections across Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, and Central Asia to cross and breed the collected trees for eastern US trials. The program spans over 20 years as of 2019, and Rutgers now has 25,000 trees on 20 acres in various stages of evaluation.
About 2% of trees were discovered to have some resistance. Utilizing these, advanced breeding lines were evaluated for commercial viability. Of the tested cultivars, 4 cultivars now appear to have good EFB resistance as well as the wide range of commercially required attributes cultivars suitable for planting in the eastern US, including taste, yield, nut size, uniformity, hardiness, and shell-peel traits.
EB infected limbs shown, trees dying. Each cultivar has a specific and unique combination of attributes.
- Health foods
- EFB Disease Resistance
- Commercially attractive and competitive yields
- Required nut characteristics
- The cultivars will be patent and/or PVP/PVR protected in all relevant world regions
- Products will have registered trademarks
Propagation licenses are available