Park Hours: 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Gate is automated and closes at dusk.
Dorris Ranch is a national historic site, a living history farm, a working commercial filbert orchard, and a public park complete with walking trails and natural areas. Dorris Ranch also serves as the western access point of the paved, 4-mile long Middle Fork Path, which runs to Clearwater Park. The park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Dorris Ranch Orchard Replacement Project
A majority of the mature filbert trees at Dorris Ranch are a variety that is highly susceptible to Eastern Filbert Blight, which has gradually infected most of the trees originally planted by the Dorris family.
Willamalane is in the process of replacing the original trees with several blight-resistant varieties that will keep the orchards operating for decades to come. This winter, we are replacing 19-acres of filbert trees at Dorris Ranch. This is the second phase of the orchard replacement project; additional phases are planned over several years.
Here’s what replacement will look like:
- The blight-infected trees will be removed by grinding and mulching them in place by using heavy, noisy, and potentially dangerous machinery. No unauthorized staff or community members will be permitted in the work area.
- During the closure, we will post notice signs to clearly mark the project area and dates of the closure, which is anticipated to last for two weeks. It is extremely dangerous to enter these areas. Please be mindful of staying clear of the site while work is occurring. A private security company will be on-site to patrol the perimeter of the work area.
- Once the trees have been removed, the orchard will open again.
- In early 2022 new blight-resistant trees will be planted.
- Natural area
- Picnic tables
- Living history village
- Filbert orchards
- Historic buildings
Looking for the Living History program for youth? Go here.
Each spring and fall, the Living History Village is available for school field trips. Costumed living history interpreters lead school-age students through a historical adventure, emphasizing relationships between people, the environment, and the past. Or, we can bring history to you with a Traveling Trunk Show! Learn more about the Living History program here.
About the Orchards
Dorris Ranch is recognized as the first commercial filbert orchard in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Oregon's history with filberts started in 1892 when George Dorris and his wife Lulu bought 250 acres of fertile land along the Willamette River and dedicated their lives to farming. After experimenting with a variety of crops, George established the first commercial filbert nut orchard in the United States. Over the next 50 years the Dorris family planted 9,200 trees at the ranch and harvested more than 50 tons of nuts each year.
Now, more than 100 years later, Dorris Ranch continues to make history as a fully-productive commercial filbert orchard. More than half of all the commercial filbert trees now growing in the U.S. originated from Dorris Ranch nursery stock.
Each of the 11 separate orchards was named in order to help hired hands know where to work each day.
The approximate age of each orchard may be determined by looking at the spacing between trees. In the earliest orchards (planted beginning in 1903) the trees are planted very close together. As the years went by, spacing between the trees became greater. Dorris Ranch has a total of 9,250 filbert trees planted in 75 acres.
Most of the trees in the Dorris Ranch orchards are of the Barcelona variety. Because the Barcelona is self-sterile, other varieties—the DuChilly and the Daviana—are planted as pollinators every third tree in every third row.
Today, Willamalane is in the process of removing the Barcelona trees in stages in an effort to fight eastern filbert blight. New blight-resistant trees are replacing the highly susceptible varieties George Dorris planted.
Filberts are considered a "self-husking" nut. The husk falls off when the filbert drops from the tree. Machines can then pick up the filberts and take them directly to the drying machines. A local orchardist maintains the Dorris Ranch orchards.
Closures and Treatment Information
The historic filbert orchards at Dorris Ranch require seasonal treatment to prevent a variety of infections and invasive species that could harm the trees. To make this happen, our team uses regulated fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides that are recommended specifically for the treatment of these orchards and are part of best practices developed by Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Here is more information about that program.
Our process for applying treatment at Dorris Ranch:
- We identify our target vegetation that we’re treating, as that determines the options for application and the types of materials we use.
- We work closely with an orchardist who will make the application, and we always leave a buffer zone around the outer edge of the orchard.
Dorris Ranch Master Plan
The Dorris Ranch Master Plan was created in 2008 and revised in 2019.