‘McDonald’ inherits a gene from the cultivar ‘Gasaway’, which confers a high level of resistance to EFB; trees remain mostly free of EFB, with only a few cases of small cankers under high disease pressure having been observed to date. Additionally, ‘McDonald’ is resistant to bud mites (primarily Phytoptus avellanae Nal.) and has very few moldy kernels. Its nuts mature two weeks earlier than 'Barcelona', increasing the chance that they can be harvested before fall rains begin, reducing cleaning and drying costs to growers. Nuts are smaller in size than ‘Barcelona’ and 52% kernel by weight, higher than most other hazelnut cultivars. As a result, ‘McDonald’ has a high kernel yield, early harvest, high resistance to EFB, and excellent eating quality.
Features & Benefits
Background of Invention
Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB), caused by the fungus Anisogramma anomala, poses a serious threat and imposes a significant added cost to hazelnut production in the Willamette Valley, where the majority of US hazelnuts are produced. The hazelnut cultivar (variety) developed at Oregon State, named ‘McDonald’, is from a cross of 'Tonda Pacifica' and 'Santiam'. The advantages of ‘McDonald’ is in its resistance to EFB, infrequent nut defects and early nut maturation. The moderately vigorous trees, similar in size to ‘Lewis’ and ‘Jefferson’, have a desirable growth habit and size. The kernels blanch easily and have excellent flavor and texture. ‘McDonald’ is well-suited for the blanched kernel market, for use in chocolate products, baked goods, and other premium-priced food items containing nuts.