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Are Thornless Blackberries worth the effort  RSS feed

 
Bart Wallace
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My friend who owns the local berry patch says that the taste is poor but then again he has not tried the new varieties that have been releases. Anyone have luck with tasty thornless blackberries?
 
David Livingston
master steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I have a nice one it is very easy to grow, huge gives lots of berrys tastes fine I use the right and left method usually grows 4yds left then 4 right  no problems . harvest an easy 8lb+ per plant after four years
 
wayne fajkus
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I have the variety natchez. God stuff
 
Bart Wallace
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I got about 3 or 4 different varieties planted. I just planted them last year so I am hoping to have plenty of fruit soon. I keep telling myself that I am doing this all for my son when I really know that I am doing it for myself.
 
Joshua Morgan
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Location: Oklahoma
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I bought 2 "Arapaho Thornless" from a local gardener about 5 years ago, I've decided to move them after planting and of course they came back in the original spot as well. I now have 10 or so plants growing and I think the flavor is just fine.
Maybe the fact that I'm not bleeding or itching makes them taste better but I would say the important bit would be ease of picking and safety for children who might stumble into them.
I think they are worth it and I have tons of native thorned berry plants on this land. I've gotten some huge berries off mine as well.
I'm also unsure of what effort you mention since mine grow like weeds and other than basic pruning/propagating I've done nothing to them and they are growing in the middle of what used to be a hay field with zero prep.
I just stuck them in the "dirt" and they went wild.
I tried transplanting some wild thorned berry plants since they are native and growing on the property, they didn't survive.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I find the thornless ones are as good as the wild ones.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 834
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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The deer, rabbits and birds think mine taste great.  I got three berries last year.  I think this is its third year and loaded with berries.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 553
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I don't think Arapaho and some of the others are as sweet as good wild berrys. If you are cooking or adding sugar anyway, it doesn't really matter.  I'm trying a newer trailing variety that is supposed to be sweeter. I can't think what it's called. I haven eaten any yet.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 173
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Triple crown here, first fruiting season. Really big berries, good sweet taste, strong young canes, semi-erect. Wants to grow - doesn't need coddling to turn out well.


 
Woody McInish
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Location: Boston Mountains, NW Arkansas
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Freedom blackberry from the University of Arkansas is vigorous and produces large, sweet, juicy berries on floricanes in the spring and after a 3-4 week pause produces berries on primocanes till frost. Ate my last ripe berry Nov. 2 last year. I've grown more than a dozen University of Arkansas blackberries thorny and thornless, and Freedom is my favorite. The chance to meet Professor James Moore, was one of my reasons for moving to Northwest Arkansas in 1974.

Note 1 - Both floricanes and primocanes should be pruned to about 5 feet
Note 2 - Osage was incredibly productive this year with delicious berries. At the end of this year I plan to completely clear the Freedom Patch--old canes, new canes, and weeds. In 2018 I'll harvest Osage berries in the spring and Freedom berries from primocanes in the summer and fall.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 553
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I wonder if deer or rabbits would be much more likely to eat the canes of the thornless plants?  I know rabbits will even eat the thorny ones when they're over populated.I'd like to plant some where they can pretty much run wild, basically it's a newly started food forest.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Deer love mine so mine are in a fenced area with a bird cover.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 553
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Thanks. I have a 30' island in my pond. Maybe I'll plant them there.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 173
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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That sounds like a lot of moisture (air and other)... Might bring a disease problem.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 553
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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You could be right, but the best wild blackberries I've ever found were below a pond dam on fairly damp soil. They grew there naturally though. A variety brought in from somewhere else might not have survived because it wouldn't be adapted to the area.

I may give it a try. I've got some I need to thin out anyway.
 
Richard Kastanie
Posts: 108
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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My favorite variety is "Chester Thornless", every person I know who tries the several varieties that I have planted here in the Missouri Ozarks liked Chester the best. However it all depends on your particular climate and soil, I talked to someone who has a nursery in southern Indiana who says that Chester doesn't taste all that great there.
 
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