The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Hazelnut Grove

everyone posing for a photo in with the freshly planted trees.

The Hazelnut Grove at TCNJ is a demonstration of permaculture – a system of agricultural design that is based on plants and growing patterns that are similar to those of natural ecosystems in a given region. Now in its sixth year on campus, the hazelnut grove has begun to produce hazelnuts in early fall each year! Read below to learn more about permaculture and the Hazelnut Grove at TCNJ. 

Photo of Hazelnut leaf and nut
One of the first hazelnuts to grow at TCNJ Hazelnut Grove. Photo captured June 14, 2023.

An important feature of natural ecosystems is their relative permanence. Unlike typical agricultural systems based on annual crops such as grains, beans, and vegetables, natural ecosystems do not need human attention and input.  Permaculture attempts to mimic natural systems while at the same time producing crops valuable to humanity.   





A promising nut crop for New Jersey is the Hazelnut. Hazelnuts can produce more protein and more vegetable oil per acre than corn or soybeans. Once established, hazelnuts can thrive for years with little need for pesticides and other inputs.  There is a strong demand for hazelnuts by consumers, including large food processors; they could prove to be a high value crop in New Jersey.

Most hazelnuts available today are grown in Europe, but when these varieties are planted in the Eastern U.S. they typically succumb to an endemic fungus disease to which the native North American hazelnut is resistant.  Although the native hazelnut readily grows in this region, the nuts it produces are small, difficult to shell, and have little flavor.  The trees in our TCNJ Hazelnut Grove planting have been bred to resist filbert blight and grow vigorously in this region and to also produce large and tasty nuts that should be highly marketable.  They have been chosen from disease-resistant stock selected from thousands of Corylus avellana trees and grafted onto hardy rootstocks under the direction of Dr. Thomas Molnar, of Rutgers University’s Department of Plant Biology and Pathology.  Rutgers University donated the trees in TCNJ’s Hazelnut Planting in 2017 as part of Rutgers’ effort to evaluate the success of hazelnuts in differing environments in New Jersey.  More on the Rutgers program is available at

For inquiries regarding the Hazelnut Grove, please contact Katie Kahn at