First olive trees for Douglas County

Douglas County joins the Southern Oregon trend of olive orchards with eight acres planted by Jan and Dave Leroue.

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Jan and Dave Leroue planted 6,798 olive trees on eight acres, bringing the first olive orchard to Douglas County.

The couple hope to avoid cold winters and begin pressing olive oil by 2013.

Like other Oregon olive growers, Leroue said she and her husband are hoping for a mild winter because the trees prefer warmer temperatures and are especially vulnerable when young. To ensure the trees have the highest chance of surviving, the Leroues have planted two varieties of Spanish olives, Arbequina and Arbosana, which are known to withstand colder temperatures.

“I’m not worried about the climate,” [Dave Leroue] said. “We have a little pocket out there that’s kept warmer by the river and shielded by the hills.”

Read more at The News-Review.

Read our previous coverage of how the winter crushed olive oil dreams.

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