Full Sun to medium shade. They prefer a moist, well drained soil, but they tolerate clay soil well too. They also handle alkaline soils and drought just fine. If planted near in wet soil or along a pond, expect it to sucker a lot.
Corylus americana is cultivated as an ornamental plant for native plant gardens, and in wildlife gardens to attract and keep fauna in an area. There are cultivated hybrids of Corylus americana with Corylus avellana which aim to combine the larger nuts of the latter with the former's resistance to a North American fungus Cryptosporella anomala. It is a medium to fast-growing species, that suckers moderately, eventually producing a multi-stemmed, clump appearance. It adapts well to a range of soil pH and types, but does best on well-drained loams. American hazelnut prefers full sun for best growth and development. Though it can grow and persist in partial shade, plant density and fruit production are greatly reduced.