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zone 4 hardy wild blackberries

 
Posts: 672
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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hey folks. I'm trying to find zone 4 hardy blackberry plants for breeding stock for this nursery in new york thats trying to develop a commercial variety that will grow in that zone. I'm in zone 4 and we have no blackberries around here. if you zone 4 folks have some  wild ones around could you dig 2-4 sprouts and send them to me? i would pay your shipping and a little for your time / labor. if this nursery is successful we would benefit from the cultivar this nursery develops. I'm not doing this for personal gain. just trying to get these guys the most breeding stock they can get to make this dream of a zone 4 blackberry come true! thanks for your time.
 
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Unfortunately such a variety will be a long time coming because the cane fruits are notoriously non cold hardy.
Usually zone 5 is as far north that they can be found and even then the canes have to be protected somehow over the winter months.

This paper black berries grown in the north from the Cornell University is about the only solution other than an intensive propagation program.

Developing such a plant would indeed be a worth while undertaking but it will most likely take a minimum of ten years and more likely 20 years, if it can be accomplished at all.

Redhawk
 
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Luckily the wild blackberries around here don't read studies  I'm sure I can find some to dig up.  Do you want them now or in the spring?  Not sure how they'd handle transportation in the summer...  PM me with shipping details, etc.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Good to know that there are some that will make it that far north Mike. Thank you for that information.

Redhawk
 
Mike Haasl
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My pleasure!  Last year I found a huge patch that had really long berries so I'll get some from that area and from a "normal" patch.
 
pollinator
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It's true here in Montana that the true blackberries don't grow in zone 4. However there are some native berries that do. I don't know where they could be collected though as it was when I was working in a park. However I would describe these species as somewhat blackberry like in growth habit but not flavor. Rubus pedatus and Rubus pubescens. Perhaps if hybridized with Rubus ursinus the west coast native blackberry a non-invasive hardy blackberry could be developed? Or if invasiveness is desirable for this project hybridized with Rubus armeniacus.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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those sound like thimble berries William, they look like a black berry but are far tarter than true blackberries are.
 
William Schlegel
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:those sound like thimble berries William, they look like a black berry but are far tarter than true blackberries are.



No they are not like Thimbleberries which are Rubus parviflorus. Thimbleberries are awesome in their own right but are nothing like a blackberry neither in taste nor growth habit. The two of which I spoke are similar in growth habit to blackberries not taste. So the breeding goal if the cross even proves possible would be to get the flavor of a blackberry and the hardiness of one of those two species.
 
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Blackberry are grow in warmer climate than other small fruits...On the Alps (up to 1500 m) i found raspberry, but not true blackberry....anyway, Rubus is a very big group, for sure there will be some species with black Berries for zone 4
 
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cloud berrys grow in Finland so if you can find some could be worth a look  
 
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Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut zone 0 / Mont Sainte-Marie, QC zone 4a
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steve bossie wrote:hey folks. I'm trying to find zone 4 hardy blackberry plants for breeding stock for this nursery in new york thats trying to develop a commercial variety that will grow in that zone.



Did they ever get any?
They could come up north for a few days with a truck and help themselves -- I have a pile I need to weed out of my wild black raspberries and each year I resort to cutting them to the root because I don't want to kill them outright and some day plan to move them

Zone 4
J8N9H1
 
steve bossie
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Ra Kenworth wrote:

steve bossie wrote:hey folks. I'm trying to find zone 4 hardy blackberry plants for breeding stock for this nursery in new york thats trying to develop a commercial variety that will grow in that zone.



Did they ever get any?
They could come up north for a few days with a truck and help themselves -- I have a pile I need to weed out of my wild black raspberries and each year I resort to cutting them to the root because I don't want to kill them outright and some day plan to move them

Zone 4
J8N9H1

Fedco here in Maine released nelson blackberries about 3 years ago. i have a patch of them and they survived -43f here 2 winters ago with no damage. berries are on the small side but tasty and productive. thorns are wicked though. twisted tree nursery in upstate N.Y, that was trying to breed a z4 blackberry so far hasnt released one. ive since discovered a wild blackberry here called the Canadian or smooth blackberry.  its fruit is similar to nelson but not as productive but it has nice deep maroon canes with barely any thorns. i have a patch of it as well.
 
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Location: Central Maine (Zone 5a)
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Hi Steve,
I saw this pop up, and thought "I should post about Nelson Blackberries". Then I got to the bottom and saw your post, lol.

I will say that Fedco had Nelson before, then didn't have them for a few years and have them back now. I had a 30ft row of them probably 5 or 6 years ago. And they were just getting into good production when we had to move. I finally was able to get a few more this year and have them planted. They seem to be doing well, despite the week of rain we have been having. I can second that the ones I had survived at least -33F winters and seemed quite productive. I was right on the line of Zone 5a and 4b. I thought the flavor was good. It was thorny... but I actually like that in a blackberry.
 
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Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
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I live on Blackberry Lane, right on the line between 3b and 4a. The street is named for our most notorious weed -- a thorny Rubus bramble with black drupes that form late in the summer. The wild fruit are much smaller than that blackberries one can buy in the market and much sweeter than raspberries. I don't know if they're really blackberries, but that's what they're called locally. Our raspberry patch is just starting to blossom now with no sign of bud formation on the blackberry. I also have some thimbleberry, but it's so young that it has never blossomed, so I'm not sure of its characteristics, though the leaves are much more distinct than the other two.
blackberry.jpg
Wild blackberry all over our neighborhood.
Wild blackberry all over our neighborhood.
raspberry.jpg
Our Raspberry patch
Our Raspberry patch
thimbleberry.jpg
Two-year old thimbleberry grown from seed.
Two-year old thimbleberry grown from seed.
 
steve bossie
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Christopher Weeks wrote:I live on Blackberry Lane, right on the line between 3b and 4a. The street is named for our most notorious weed -- a thorny Rubus bramble with black drupes that form late in the summer. The wild fruit are much smaller than that blackberries one can buy in the market and much sweeter than raspberries. I don't know if they're really blackberries, but that's what they're called locally. Our raspberry batch is just starting to blossom now with no sign of bud formation on the blackberry. I also have some thimbleberry, but it's so young that it has never blossomed, so I'm not sure of its characteristics, though the leaves are much more distinct than the other two.

they look like blackberries to me.
 
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