MEDFORD, Ore. — The Rogue Valley went months without rain during this past summer, but in the last month, heavy rains and now winter weather have hit southern Oregon.
Local pear orchardist and owner of Hubler Orchards, Gary Hubler, said right now it is pruning season. Hubler said his workers are ready to go, but the problem is all of the rain the Rogue Valley has had lately has thrown off when pruning can begin.
Hubler said the rains are welcome and are very important to refill the reservoirs for the upcoming irrigation season. He added that the cold weather, so far, hasn’t been a problem, but instead has helped prevent what could turn in to an early bloom.
“As cold temperatures go, at this point in the game, it has not been too much of a concern at this time. Because it keeps the trees dormant which is certainly what we are after right now,” said Hubler.
The heaters orchards have available typically aren’t used until the spring time to protect pears from frost. Hubler says an early bloom could be disastrous both for the crop and financially for the orchard. Bartlett pears are the first variety that need to be pruned and Hubler is hoping to begin the process next week.