‘Wepster’ 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. Additionally, ‘Wepster’ is resistant to bud mite (primarily Phytoptus avellanae Nalepa) and has very few moldy kernels. The nuts of ‘Wepster’ mature at least one week earlier than 'Barcelona’, are small in size and have 46% kernel, by weight. ‘Wepster’ trees can produce high yields, be harvested early and have high resistance to EFB.
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, which produces the majority of US hazelnuts. The hazelnut cultivar (variety) developed at Oregon State, named ‘Wepster’, is from a cross of 'Tonda Pacifica' and OSU 440.005. The advantage of ‘Wepster’ is in its resistance to EFB, high yield potential and infrequent nut defects. It is a vigorous tree, intermediate in size between ‘Barcelona’ and ‘Jefferson’. The kernels blanch easily, have very good flavor and texture, and have been well-filled, even when the crop load is heavy. ‘Wepster’ is well-suited for the blanched kernel market, for use in chocolate products and baked goods, and in other premium-priced food items containing nuts.