Since 2013, I’ve been importing what I believe are the best chestnut, and hazelnut trees, for Ontario (previously through Artemisia’s Forest Garden Nursery, and now through Willow Creek Permaculture Farm). 

These are hardy trees (at least Zone 4) selected for blight resistance, early flowering, large nuts, high yields, and resilience against pests in no-spray situations. We also sometimes offer bulk Serviceberries (also called Saskatoonberries or Juneberries). Some years we are able to get bulk Korean Stone Pines (for windbreaks and pine nuts).

Open for Spring 2023 Sales!

Scroll to the bottom of this page to order trees in bundles of 25, or go here to order single trees.

This year we have two types of hazelnuts, and chestnuts, available in bundles of 25.  

Pick-up your trees near the GTA
We have a new pick-up point available near Schomberg, which will make pick-up much easier for those in or near the GTA. Antonio, at Cavaleiro Farm, will assist folks who want to get trees, but can’t make the drive. Be sure to add the item ‘Pick-up near GTA’ to your cart when you check out, or you can do a separate order later to add the service. 
Nut pines will not be available in spring 2024. 

Spring 2024 Super Sale

Spend $500 on bulk trees and get 10% off – use coupon code fivehundred

Spend $1000 on bulk trees and get 15% off – use coupon code onethou

Limited time offer until January 15th!

Applies to bulk trees only. These coupons can’t be combined.

Scroll down for lots more information about these awesome trees. 

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Why Chestnuts and Hazelnuts?

For farmers, chestnuts and hazelnuts can be an ecological approach to some premium crops.

For those with less land, chestnuts and hazelnuts can be a delightful supplement to their diet, or pocketbook. 

Did you know that chestnuts have a really similar nutritional profile to corn, and hazelnuts have a really similar nutritional profile to soybeans? Both can be adapted to mechanical harvest techniques, just like corn and beans, but you only have to plant them once. After they’re established, they just get more productive year after year for decades. When you combine techniques from forest gardening and permaculture (as described below), you can multiply your yields by adding berry crops, and culinary and medicinal herbs, that grow alongside the nut trees as they establish. 


Hazelnuts are a growing crop in Ontario, with support from the Ontario Hazelnut Association, and Fererro, which has established a confectionary plant in Brantford, and are looking to buy Ontario hazelnuts. Beyond the larger-scale confectionary industry, hazelnuts have tremendous potential as a direct-marketed or specialty product, whether at a farm store or farmers market. As of December 2023, a bag of in-shell hazels is selling for $17 per kg. There are also loads of ideas for niche products, such as hazelnut tofu. Even if you sell all your hazelnuts for mixed nuts, the chances are high that nuts are always going to be a premium commodity over corn, beans, and wheat. 

The hybrid hazelnut trees we import are from robust hardy stock that’s highly tolerant and resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight, and have been producing reliably in Zone 4 near Viola, Wisconsin for fourteen years. They have been selected for youthful bearing, high yields, pest and disease resistance, and suitability for low-input and certified organic conditions. Why choose our hybrid hazels over clonal varieties for some of your plantings? Keep reading!


Many people don’t realize we can grow chestnuts in Ontario. This is probably because of the Chestnut Blight that wiped out almost all the American Chestnuts over a hundred years ago. Fortunately, we have some blight resistant, and potentially blight immune, chestnuts available for planting.

Most grocery store chestnuts are currently imported, but you can find them sometimes at local farmer’s markets. It can be worth it to hand-pick them off the ground, but pull-behind nut sweepers for tractors, or even lawn mowers or golf carts, are an easy option. Currently for sale for over $17 per kg for bagged un-shelled (at a local No Frills), like hazelnuts, these are a lucrative crop. Ideas for niche products include gluten-free flour, or pasta, and a whole range of traditional European confections. 

Our hybrid chestnuts also come from Zone 4, near Viola, Wisconsin. They include genetics from a variety of blight resistant or immune breeding programs. The breeding goals are winter hardiness, high yields, large nuts, pest and disease resistance and suitability for low-input and certified organic conditions. Note that these nuts will not typically be as large as Chinese chestnuts, but Chinese Chestnuts are hardy in only limited parts of Ontario.

Nut Pines and Serviceberries (aka Juneberries/Saskatoonberries)

We also import bulk Korean Nut Pines, and Serviceberries. Nut pines, because they make such great windbreaks and are hard to find in bulk in Ontario, and serviceberries because they are such a great crops and yet grow well, even in wetter areas, and are native species.  

Korean Nut Pine

Sorry – no availability in 2024!

Make your own pesto, and/or sell perhaps the most lucrative nut of them all. Currently going for $9.36 for 100g (That’s over $93/kg), pine nuts make a terrific tree for windbreaks, since they get big and dense (really similar to White Pines), and yet also have a bonus luxury crop.  Down the road, someone is going to thank you for calming the winds on the fields/roads, plus, in this case, you might like to harvest the pine nuts. 

Pine nuts are another one of those premium crops that are super expensive at the store. Imagine bringing them to a local farmer’s market, or even getting some of yours for sale in a health food store. You could even save the work of harvesting the seeds to someone else – sell the cones as novelty bird feed at a farmers market or craft show. A nice little extra side-crop from space used for a windbreak. 


Currently none available in 2024. Please email if you are interested.

Perhaps better known as Saskatoonberries, and also called Juneberries, these early ripening berries are similar in look and taste to blueberries, but are more vigorous shrubs that don’t need acidic soil. 

Their taste ranges from sweet to sweet with a bit of tart (especially when underripe). 

You can actually see these around as ornamentals quite a bit, and whenever our family finds one at the right time of year, the kids just stand there and browse on them for as long as we’ll let them. 

Saskatoon was actually named after the berry, not the other way around! They are a lucrative farm crop in parts of Western Canada, especially since they need less care than blueberries, and the bushes grow larger. There’s also lots of potential for value-added products like jams. The species we sell are native to Ontario.

What Makes These Trees Different?

Willow Creek Permaculture imports our bulk fruit and nut trees from Forest Agriculture Nursery, run by Mark Shepard, located near Viola, Wisconsin (Zone 4).

When I first got into nut trees, and researched about where to source chestnut and hazelnut trees, I learned about Mark Shepard’s book Restoration Agriculture. In that book, he puts forward a vision of transitioning our current farming system, which relies on annual crops, toward perennial crops. The basic idea is to keep farmers making money while making choices that are good for the planet.  Mark has been selecting breeding stock of hazelnuts and chestnuts for two decades, and was selling nut trees grown from seed of these proven producers. I started jumping through the hoops to import these trees into Ontario, partially selfishly, so I can plant them, and partially because I want to share the opportunity with you, to buy some for your home or farm. 

In 2018 did our first really large planting, with over 1200 hazelnuts in our smaller 7 acre field. If you want advice on some strategies for success with your plantings, feel free to email me, or work out a time for a phone call to discuss what you have in mind.  

The trees are from seeds on Mark Shepard’s home farm, and fields run in collaboration with university research programs. They are grown out at professional nurseries, and come to you bare-root with really well developed roots, and typically 1′-2′ of stem and branches, sometimes more.  

We are the exclusive Ontario importer of these distinct hardy trees

What makes his breeding program unique? 

Solid Genetics

Over twenty years ago, Mark Shepard started with all the most blight resistant chestnut and hazelnut varieties he could get his hands on from a number of university breeding programs that had been specializing in breeding blight resistant chestnuts and hazelnuts. Both hazels and chestnuts are primarily wind-pollinated, so he let his trees all mix their pollen. The next generation was ruthlessly selected for youthful bearing, nut size, high yield, and low/no input. The direct parents of the seeds the trees we sell have been producing reliable, high quality crops on Mark's Zone 4 farms since 2007, despite extremes of temperature (-45C - +44C), flood, and drought.

Bulk Pricing

Someone recently suggested we increase our prices, based on what they are seeing at other commercial nurseries. We might have to eventually, but for now, we're keeping them as low as possible, because we want to see more people taking the plunge and planting these. Full details on prices is below, but our prices are very competitive.

Hybrids, Not Clones

Planting clones that fulfill the requirements of a single customer like Ferrero makes sense, but the genetic diversity of hybrids brings some really big advantages to the table as well.

About the Breeder

Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC, founder of Restoration Agriculture Development LLC and award-winning author of the book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers, and Water for Any Farm (2019). Mark has also been a farmer member of the Organic Valley cooperative, the worlds largest Organic Farmer’s marketing co-op, since 1995. He is most widely known as the founder of New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.

New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for humans and animals), fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody crops. The farm is entirely solar and wind powered and farm equipment is capable of being powered with locally produced biofuels.

Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and bio fuels production.

Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture design from Bill Mollison, the founder of the international Permaculture movement. He teaches agroforestry and Permaculture worldwide. 

Two Kinds of Hybrid Hazelnuts

We import two different types of hybrid hazelnuts. Here’s some information directly from Mark Shepard to help you decide which one is for you. The short version is that the Controlled-Cross Hazelnuts are likely to be better producers, but that planting one Selected for every Controlled-Cross is good for pollination. Controlled-Cross cost slightly more, and we currently import more of them. 

Selected Hybrid Hazelnuts

"The parents of our strain of hazelnuts come from the breeding programs of Jack Gellatley in Alberta, George Slate & others from Geneva, New York, Cecil Ferris of Michigan, Badgersett Research of Minnesota, Carl Weschke, the University of Wisconsin, and New Forest Farms all in Wisconsin. Wild American Hazelnut selections from high altitude Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota,Michigan, New York State and Maine have also found their way into our breeding program. Our breeding goals include: youthful bearing, high yields, pest & disease resistance, suitability for low-input and certified organic conditions.

All seed is open pollinated and all genetics are public domain with the intention for them to remain that way. Seed is selected from the top producing plants and only the best are allowed to shed pollen in our pollen-controlled breeding plots. Inferior plants are ruthlessly eliminated from the breeding site using a heavy duty flail chopper.

Since every Selected Seedling Hazelnut plant is genetically unique from every other one, they readily cross pollinate with one another. Plant Selected Seedlings with Controlled Cross Seedlings or Commercial Cultivars to ensure adequate pollination.

Nut clusters in their fringed husks (involucre) are very ornamental. Autumn colors can be anything from yellow to red, orange and even pink!

Hazelnuts are the nutritional equivalent of a soybean with 3 times the oil by kernel weight."

Controlled-Cross Selected Hybrid Hazelnuts

"Since the 1990’s, Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC in collaboration with the University of MN St Paul, the Universities of WI Steven’s Point & Madison, an UW Extension, has been pioneering vegetative propagation of specific cultivars of hybrid hazelnut. Although early efforts proved to not be economically viable at the time for producing clonal cultivars for farmers, they were successful enough to establish isolated breeding nurseries for the production of controlled cross seedlings. In the earliest variety trials, seedlings from one parent proved to not produce at a young enough age. Seedlings from the second parent plant began to bear within two years. The initial nursery was slowly expanded for several years until it reached its current size. Seven other controlled cross nurseries have been established in several different states.

Seedlings from the first controlled cross were put into variety trials beginning in 2012 and were released publicly for the first time in 2017!

80% of the Controlled cross seedlings have flowered within the first year from planting and they have born crops more consistently across the population than selected seedlings. They exist in areas of heavy Eastern Filbert Blight presence and show no signs of susceptibility. Since these plants have only been out in the landscape for 6 years, their long-term average per-plant yields are not yet known. Most notable for the controlled cross seedlings is that they have demonstrated a dramatically shortened and consistent harvest window which is extremely important, especially for mechanical harvest. Harvest begins in Mid-August in southwestern Wisconsin.

UW Extension, U IL Champaign and the Savanna Institute are all involved with data collection on the first out plantings of this material.

We recommend planting at least 1 Selected Seedling Hybrid Hazelnuts per 5 Controlled Cross Selected Seedlings in order to ensure adequate pollination."

Forest gardening

Forest Gardening is an approach to gardening and farming that comes out of permaculture. Forest Gardening focuses on polycultures, instead of monocultures, and therefore looks at multiple yields from the same acreage using ideas observed in natural ecosystems. Mark Shepard calls his approach restoration agriculture, and it’s highly adapted to farming on larger acreages. Forest gardening is an extremely similar planting method.  

Permaculture started in Australia in the 1970s, initially as a way to design agricultural systems based on ecological principles, and has since become an international movement to design for all human needs using techniques that are not just sustainable, but regenerative – that is, they make the planet better, instead of depleting it. 

There are lots of books on forest gardening and permaculture, as well as courses, camps, and workshops. My former business partner, Shantree Kacera, operates, The Living Centre, offers training and mentorships in permaculture and forest gardening.


When purchased in bundles of 25, the price per tree is listed below. 

$ 0
$ 0
Selected Hybrid Hazelnut
$ 0
Controlled-Cross Selected Hybrid Hazelnut
$ 0
Hybrid Chestnut

Buy More and Save

Thinking of spending more than $500?

We give a discount of 10% (coupon code fivehundred) on orders of $500 or more of bulk trees.

If you spend over 1000 on bulk trees, we’ll give you a 15% off (coupon code onethou).

That’s a great deal.


$ 0
Minimum you save when you buy $500-$999 worth of trees
Enter coupon code: fivehundred at checkout
$ 0
Minimum you save when you buy $1000 worth of bulk trees
or more
Enter coupon code: onethou at checkout

Payment and Pick-up

Orders are done online through PayPal secure checkout, and are picked up at our farm near Dutton, Ontario in May.  As we get closer to the date, we’ll be in touch with you by email to let you know when the trees arrive, and have been inspected by CFIA, and are ready for pick-up. 

In the past, we have had great success with ride-sharing for trees from people in various parts of Ontario. We’ll connect you by email (with your permission) with others from your part of the province to see if you can work something out. For instance, we often have someone willing to host trees so you can pick them up closer to your home. Email to see if someone else from your region is already coming. 

With orders over 500 trees, we will consider alternate pick-up or delivery options. Be in touch by email or phone to find out more.

Email: readrobread@gmail.com

Phone: 519-762-3398  (Ask for Rob.)

Limited Quantities, Order Now

Our supplier is running out of trees every year. We’ve been selling out too.

They are super popular across North America, and we’re the exclusive importer into Ontario.

If you want to add some to your planting this spring, please get your order in soon.

To order trees:

Order online below.

Add the trees you want to your cart, view your cart, and check-out with credit card or paypal. 

Single fruit and nuts trees can be found here.

To pay by another method, please contact me, Rob Read, at readrobread@gmail.com or 519-762-3398 (land line, sorry, no texting!).

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