Cane Fruits

Upright Blackberries

Chickasaw Blackberry – Early Ripening Great Flavor!

blackberry-chickasawChickasaw is an Arkansas release, plant patent #11,861. Excellent, early ripening blackberry variety with large fruit that grows up to one inch! High yields over a 4 week season. Ripens mid-June. 500 chill hours. Zones 8A-8B.

Is it thornless, or not??


Ouachita – Thornless Blackberries!

University of Arkansas release. Ouachita is a vigorous and productive upright thorn less variety with 1 inch blackberries. Fruit ripens starting early June over a five week period. 400-500 chill hours.

Natchez – Early ripening Thornless Blackberry!

From the University of Arkansas (2007 release) and it’s thornless!! Very large (8-10g), long Berry Plants on a semi-erect plant. Ripens a week before Ouachita. Ripens in early June. 400-500 chill hours. Zones 8A-8B.

Kiowa –

A University of Arkansas release (plant patent #9,861) with fruit the size of golf balls! Kiowa blackberry plants are very vigorous. Fruit is excellent quality and ripens one week after Choctaw. Ripens mid to late June. 200-300 chill hours. Zones 8A-9.

* Arapaho – thornless

released in 1993 by the University of Arkansas, is an erect thornless variety that produces a medium sized, firm, high-quality fruit over a four-week season. Arapaho is very productive, has no thorns, and is resistant to both Double Blossom and Rust. Longer keeping quality.

Arapaho is on erect vines that do not require a trellis, and bear on primocanes, or the previous year’s growth. After harvest in summer, the canes that fruited are cut back (or they will die back in fall naturally), and new shoots grow which will fruit the next spring. Arapaho is earliest thornless blackberry in existence. It is very winter hardy with no disease problems. The berries are large and very firm, with excellent flavor. An important, positive characteristic of the Arapaho is its small seed size.

* Apache

Largest of the Arkansas thornless, Apache was the highest yielding of the thornless options in research trials conducted at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Bears 2 weeks after Arapaho. Introduced by Dr. John Clark and Dr. James Morris—after 11 years of trait selection, according to Baker—Apache’s flavor is very good, rated between that of Arapaho and Navaho; soluble solids (percent sugar) averages 10.7 percent. This variety is erect and stands up better than most all varieties. No disease problems have been found, and no signs of orange rust have been spotted in any of the plantings. It has excellent quality, and a glossy black conical-shaped fruit.


released by the University of Arkansas in 1989, is an erect thornless variety which produces a firm, medium sized, sweet berry. It is difficult to establish from root cuttings, but produces a dense hedgerow after establishment. It ripens later than Arapaho, but yields are usually higher.


released by the USDA in 1981, is a semi-erect thornless plant with medium sized fruit that has an acid flavor if not fully ripened to a dull, black color. It is recommended as a garden variety in north and east Texas, because lack of winter chilling may limit its use in south Texas.

OUACHITA (PAT. #17162) –

The newest thornless variety from the University of Arkansas. Large size berry, ripens between Arapaho and Apache. Sweet, and holds up well after harvest. Vines are vigorous.

 NATCHEZ (PAT. #20891) –

Thornless blackberry from the University of Arkansas. Firm sweet fruit, upright growth. Ripens after Arapaho.

Trailing Thornless Blackberries

Probably the most outstanding of the trailing varieties, “Triple Crown” is named for three stellar attributes: flavor, vigor and production. Each plant reputedly produces 30 pounds of berries per season. This improved version of “Chester” has been given top flavor ratings during field trials.

Thornless Evergreen” has become one of the most popular commercial varieties. Its trailing vines bear high yields of mild-flavored berries late in the season.

Disease-resistant “Doyle’s” fruit is generally processed for syrups, jams and wine-making. The vine can also be used in the landscape as a dense barrier.

Blackberry Culture

Planting is usually done from root cuttings during the dormant season. Root cuttings are pieces of root about the size of a pencil, which are dug in winter, and may be stored in moist sawdust or sphagnum moss wrapped in plastic. They are laid horizontally in the ground about 2 inches to 4 inches deep and 2 to 3 feet apart in the row.

Dormant bareroot blackberry plants may also be planted during the winter. Plants should be spaced two to three feet apart in rows eight to twelve feet apart. Nursery plants in containers can be planted at any time of year, although early spring is best and watering will be critical.

Pruning is necessary to maintain an orderly planting and to control diseases. blackberry-pruningLong handled “loppers” are best for pruning blackberries. During the first year, growth is sprawling and does not need topping. Although blackberry roots are perennial, tops are biennial. Prima canes are produced the first year and produce rapid vegetative growth only. Cut prima canes back when they reach 36 to 48″ to encourage branching, as illustrated in Figure 1. Floricanes are the second year of the biennial cycle and bloom in March.

The fruit ripens in May. After fruiting, the floricanes will die and should be cut to the ground. To make picking easier, some growers hedge the rows to a 4′ height and a 3′ width while others train the prima canes onto a vertical three wire trellis. Every three years mature plants need to be mowed to the ground to remove diseased wood and rejuvenate growth. This usually reduces yield the following year. It should only be attempted where irrigation can stimulate prima cane growth by the end of the season.

See more on Blackberry Loganberry Tayberry Culture

Boysenberries, Trailing Blackberries

Things I’ve learned about Boysenberries

Zones 6-9. Soil pH 6-6.5 plant produces juicy, deep purple berries that can grow to be as big as 1½“ long and 1” around. They are delicious when eaten fresh and can be used to make truly outstanding jam. Heat-tolerant. Ripens in late July. Self-pollinating.
Boysenberries grow from the same crown each year. The vines/canes grow 10 feet long and should be grown on a low trellis; a 4′ x 16′ cattle guard on its side is ideal. The trellis on either side of the Boysenberry can be used for peas or other crops. They can be easily propagated by allowing the growing tip to run along the ground (tip rooting).

They are not a true blackberry as Rudolph Boysen created them from a complex cross of raspberry, blackberry, and dewberry. They are very productive and often called the best tasting blackberry. The Boysenberry is the berry that made Knott’s Berry Farm. They are unfortunately somewhat tender and will not winter over in colder parts of zone 6 and farther north.

Stark Bros


Caroline Red Raspberry – Finally a raspberry for the south! @JustFruits (8b)

Finally an everbearing raspberry that’s suited for the south east. We’ve trialed many varieties of raspberry plants, Heritage, Bababerry and Dorman Red to name a few. All have succumbed to our hot humid climate or been so sour they are not worth growing. Carolina Red is a winner, rich and sweetly flavored, bearing a light summer crop on old canes and a heavy fall crop on new canes. If you’re a deprived raspberry lover that lives in the deep south, then Carolina Red will give you your fix. US Patent 10,412. Self-fertile. Zones 4-9

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