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blackberry questions

 
Leah Sattler
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there appears to be quite a bit of variation in the quality of the black berries on my property. one particular stand is already producing significant amounts of ripe berries and also has produced some pretty big ones. my questions are...

what are some of the factors affecting these characteristics. what percentage of these qualities are genetic and what are enviromental such as sun exposure, pollination,soil fertility etc...

my thinking goes...I would like to select this particular stand for propagating some tip roots to place in a few more cultivated areas but I'm curious whether it is the genetic predisposition to preferred traits or simply the particular conditions that the stand happened into that are responsible for the earliness and large berries.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i have found that the blackberries that do best in my yard are in nearly all day shade..they get sun until about noon..if that..and then are in shade the rest of the day..they also have wind protection and pretty good soil..acid mainly here..i think they are best with a good acidic mulch around their feet..here it is mostly wood chips or bark.

i have planted NEW berry bushes this year in a more open area with full sun and wind..so we'll see how they do..they are babies..they have a heavy wood chip mulch around them and a soaker hose for water..but they are only about 2 " tall right now..so no info on them yet..I also have babies in the lawn from the other blackberries..that I'm thinking of digging up and moving..don't need them in the lawn..they just get mowed anyway..so i'll tackle that this week..i'm thinking they will go beside the ones in the open..
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Is the difference possibly varietal?  Are the leaves the same?  Trailing vs caning?
 
Leah Sattler
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growth habit and leaf wise they all appear about the same. the area with the reliable 'good' ones is in full on sun and has few if any competitors. many of the others are in brushy, woodsy more mixed areas. but I have found several stands that seem to be comparable in location but not in production. just trying to figure out the difference
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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you know that some brambles will cross pollinate and make other brambles..and there are some brambles that appear like other brambles..there are different berries that appear a lot like blackberries..i think they are called logan berries..if i'm not mistaken..you may also have a cross between wild blackberries and wild raspberries..

they probably all taste good, just different.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I met a fella that would try 15 varieties of something like blackberry, get them started and then not irrigate or fertilize.  Then see which ones did the best on his land.  Then take the winner and propagate the hell out of that.

 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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I just learned late last year that there are several varieties of wild blackberries, just around here (PNW).  There is the earlier-producer with larger fruits that is the Evergreen Blackberry, and there's the late one with smaller berries (Himalayan Blackberry), and trailing raspberries, and the blackcap raspberries...

But also, many blackberry plants are produced from seed, and the plants are going to be a bit different from each other.  This is where plant breeders improve plants just by crossing (not GMO).  In your case, the birds and animals are doing it.

I would do your tip propagation and see what you get.  Nature may have done some good breeding, and you reap the results.

Sue
 
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