Berries Production Guide

Blackberries
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Varieties

This section was updated - 25 June 2012

There are many blackberry varieties available, some of which are thorny while others are thornless. They vary widely in such features as harvest season, berry size, flavour, productivity, hardiness and susceptibility to diseases.

Chester Thornless

The most widely planted fresh market variety in the world. Fruit is shiny, black and of good quality. Plants are vigorous and need to be planted at a wider spacing than Loch Ness. Laterals need to be pinched regularly. It is generally too late maturing for reliable production in BC unless covers are used to provide protection from fall rains.

Loch Ness

Currently the standard semi-erect thornless blackberry for fresh sales in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. It may not be reliably hardy for Interior locations. The fruit is large, relatively firm with good flavour and shelf life. It has a long harvest season (late July to early September). The plants are moderately winter hardy and vigorous, but susceptible to crown gall.

Metolius

A very early, trailing, thorny variety from the USDA-ARS, Oregon. Suitable for the fresh market. Good yields of firm, uniform shape fruit. Good flavour. Firm, tough skin should result in good shelf life. Vigorous plant with stiff laterals.

Obsidian

A very early, trailing, thorny variety from the USDA-ARS, Oregon. Suitable for the fresh market. Very high yields of large, firm, excellent flavour fruit. Maintains black colour after harvest. Has demonstrated good winter hardiness in the Fraser Valley.

Triple Crown

A semi-erect thornless blackberry for fresh market production. Ripens later than Loch Ness. Excellent yield potential. Flavour is superior to Loch Ness. Fruit is large and excellent quality, but is slightly softer than Loch Ness and may not be suitable for shipping.

Black Diamond (Trial)

A new thornless, trailing blackberry from the USDA-ARS, Oregon. Adapted to the processing market, but also suitable for the local fresh sales. Fruit are firm, medium-sized, uniform with good traditional blackberry flavour, Yield potential is high. It is less vigorous than other trailing types and should be planted closer within the row.

Onyx (Trial)

A new, late season trailing thorny blackberry from the USDA-ARS, Oregon. Suited for the fresh market. High yields of firm, sweet, conic fruit that ship well.

Ouachita (Trial)

A new, thornless, erect blackberry from the University of Arkansas. Suitable for the fresh market. Fruit are very firm, medium size with good flavour. Yield potential is high.

Blackberry Hybrids

There are a number of trailing berries that were derived from crosses between blackberries and red raspberries. The most common commercially available varieties are Boysen, Logan and Tayberry.

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