Fight the Blight

The historic orchards where Oregon’s filbert industry was born is facing the fight of its life. When George Dorris planted the first filbert trees at Dorris Ranch in 1903, he chose to focus on the heavy producer ‘Barcelona.’ His trees grew into the beautiful park and productive orchard we enjoy today. But ‘Barcelona’ is also highly susceptible to a fungal infection called eastern filbert blight. The blight infects and kills trees over a period of years and has slowly spread across the country. Efforts to fight the blight with anti-fungal sprays have failed. But there is a way for the orchards of Dorris Ranch to survive: The Oregon State Historic Preservation office has approved a plan to cull diseased trees and replant the orchards with new varieties. Scientists at Oregon State University developed new varieties — such as ‘Jefferson,’ which shares many of the same qualities of ‘Barcelona’ — that are resistant to eastern filbert blight.

Today, we’re writing a new chapter of living history at Dorris Ranch. Orchardists are replacing afflicted trees with healthy young ‘Jefferson’ stock. Willamalane estimates the cost of the project will exceed $40,000.

Through this campaign, friends of the orchard, individuals, businesses, etc. can help Willamalane FIGHT the BLIGHT — by sponsoring a tree, a row or an orchard. Together, we can preserve the historic character and lovely views of Dorris Ranch for generations to come.

Tree Sponsorship Levels

Sponsor a Tree: $25

Replant Dorris Ranch one sapling at a time. Your donation will fund a healthy young tree that is expected to produce tons of filberts over the following decades.

Sponsor Five Trees: $100

Orchardists will plant ‘Jefferson’ filberts in rows, capped off with pollinating varieties. Your donation will produce tons of filberts over the following decades and ensure a lasting legacy.

Sponsor 30 Trees: $500

Help Willamalane secure a lasting future for the valley’s agricultural heritage by sponsoring 30 trees. Your donation will produce tons of filberts over the following decades.

Sponsor an Acre: $2,500

Secure a sizable lasting legacy, a lasting future for the valley’s agricultural heritage, by sponsoring an entire square acre (approx. the size of a football field). Your donation will produce tons and tons of filberts over the following decades.

Other Sponsorships

Sponsor a Historical Orchard: Price varies by orchard

The 258 acres of Dorris Ranch encompasses 12 orchards and 9,809 trees. Your donation will ensure a lasting filbert harvest to help sustain living history activities for children at Dorris Ranch.

Special Opportunity: Bring ‘Dorris’ to Dorris Ranch

Oregon State University has released a new variety of filbert named for George Dorris. Willamalane would like to honor the man who founded the hazelnut industry in Oregon with a small grove of ‘Dorris’ trees. Through this sponsorship program, Willamalane would be able to bring the Dorris Ranch’s namesake back full circle to the orchards.