“A kernel taste that once buyers try, they’ll pay for”.
–Shawn Mehlenbacher, hazelnut breeder
About the nuts: Small trees with big flavor
Dorris’ nuts are targeted towards the blanched-kernel market but are also useful for the in-shell market. Its nuts have excellent kernel quality, resistance to bud mite and the trees themselves have genetic resistance to EFB through the “Gasaway” gene. Dorris is a high yielding cultivar producing medium sized nuts. However, only about 43% of its nut weight is kernel, which is a lower shell-out percentage than most processors are looking for. While the lower shell-out rate means that processors will be less likely to pay size premiums, as the market develops and flavor premiums become more common, Dorris’ excellent flavor could prove extremely profitable for growers.
Mature Dorris Hazelnut Tree
About the Tree
Dorris was released by Oregon State University in 2012 along with the pollinizers York and Felix. What makes Dorris so unique is its small tree size. The Dorris tree is only about 55% the size of Barcelona, but it bears comparable yields. The smaller growth habit might create opportunities for new management practices as well as some new challenges. For instance, a double-density Dorris planting might allow growers to leave the 2nd trees in the orchard longer than they would with a bigger cultivar, which means double yields for a few years. However, smaller trees with lower hanging branches might cause difficulties when it comes to harvesting and sweeping and some growers have been disappointed with Dorris’ slower growth. As a way to circumvent some of these potential problems, Arbor Grove Nursery has taken steps to ensure that our Dorris trees are big enough to thrive once planted in the field. We also choose slightly higher scaffold branches to make mature trees easier to navigate with equipment.
Pollination, Bloom Time and Harvest
Both Dorris’ bloom time and pollen shed are mid-season, lasting from about a month from January 11th through about February 10th. Both 1 and 12 alleles are dominant and expressed in both female flowers and pollen. Nuts mature with Barcelona and Jefferson, making it one of the latest nuts to be harvested. Oregon State University currently recommends planting the following as pollinizers: York (50%), Gamma (25%) and Felix (25%). Yamhill, Santiam, Jefferson and McDonald are also compatible. Dorris is a suitable pollinizer for Yamhill.