N. Mirotadze
The Georgians have traditionally considered hazelnuts as one of their most significant perennial cultures and of immense economic importance. It is significant that the European market has shown increasing interest in high-quality Georgian hazelnuts and hazelnut products. At present, hazelnuts are grown on a total area of 5800 ha in Georgia, while state development programs have made provisions to extend the area of hazelnut orchards to 50000 ha over the period 1999-2008. Hazelnuts are mainly grown in regions in which the sum of active annual temperatures ranges from 3800 to 4250°C, average annual rainfall reaches 1500-1900 mm, relative air humidity is 70-75%, and the elevation above sea level is between 450 and 650 m, though hazelnuts also grow naturally on elevations of up to 1800 meters above sea level. Two hazelnut species, Corylus pontica and Corylus colchica, were the ancestors of various endemic hazelnut varieties. These have been adapted for the specific soil and climate conditions to produce high quality cultivars through natural selection and hybridization (e.g. ‘Gulshishvela’, ‘Shveliskura’, ‘Khachapura’, ‘Anakliuri’, ‘Dedoplis Titi’, ‘Nemsa’, ‘Saivanobo’, etc.). These cultivars originated in the eastern and south-eastern Black Sea coast and adjoining regions. Scientific work in this field is now focused on: the distribution of endemic and introduced hazelnut varieties; the development of perspective forms in nurseries and collection orchards; optimal selection of cultivars for commercial orchards; schemes for orchard layout; specialized hazelnut production geared to specific to land relief (plains, slopes, terraces, spherical rows); the number of fertile branches on hazelnut trees/shrubs; tree-forming; and the introduction and dissemination of the latest methods of pest and disease control. It is possible to study all of the associated materials: a map of the zones of hazelnut production in Georgia; a description of Georgia’s hazelnut cultivars; photos; slides; and tasting samples at the presentation board.
Mirotadze, N. (2005). HAZELNUT IN GEORGIA. Acta Hortic. 686, 29-34
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.686.1
hazelnut, Georgia, garden, crop, technology

Acta Horticulturae