You don't say where you live, but filberts (hazelnuts) need a few important growing scenarios to do well. Firstly, they like a well drained loamy soil which is a little on the acidic side (slightly acidic to neutral is fine). Their roots are rather shallow and they take up most of their moisture and nutrients in the top 3-4 feet. Filberts are bushes naturally, but are trained as single trunked trees by filbert farmers, so as to make it easier for the harvesting machines to do their job in the orchards. You can purchase filbert bushes at nurseries or online and just let them grow in the bush form. The American filbert (corylus americana) will grow to 8-12 ft tall with a crown spread of about 10 feet. And please note... That in order to produce a crop, "all" filberts require a second planting of a "different" variety for "cross pollination". Filberts are quite hardy down to about -20 degrees and can be grown in zones 4-9. There are many varieties, so take your pick and have fun. This nut is very expensive if you were to buy it in a store, but is pretty darn cheap to grow yourself. Your time and effort will be greatly rewarded with a very tasty treat year after year. Hope this answers your question.. Sorry, no links here. Just going on my own knowledge and experience...Good Luck!
Added Info: Ah, Buffalo. Iam assuming that with the amount of moisture (rain & snow) you get that you have an acidic soil, which is good for the filbert. You shouldn't have any problems unless it is a really bad clay soil. If it is, you can always amend it with organic compost and better yet, peat moss which will help with acidity...... Go! Sabres!
...$Billy Ray$...aka "Cupid"
2yrs...tree & shrub technician
2yrs...greenskeeper (championship golf course)
DPR licensed applicator (current)
Had a small filbert orchard myself.