Assessing winter cane damage on brambles


#1

Hey, I’m really new to fruit growing and looking for some advice from some of you more seasoned vets out there.

Coming out of Winter here in zone 6 and my raspberries are all taking off like normal, but most of my blackberries look like they might be dead or dormant still. There are buds on the canes, some of them even look like they’ve started growing out, but they all have a grey color to them when I know they should be green.

It looks like I’ve lost my Loganberry, Wineberry, Polar blackberry, Snowbank blackberry, and Doyle blackberry. I can’t imagine they are still dormant at this point so I assume they died over the winter. My question is, should I give it more time and try to let the plants rebound, or should I just pull them out and replace them?


#2

I can’t imagine you’ve lost your wineberry or something with the name “Polar” blackberry.

No need to pull them out as they will likely rebound form the roots, unless they aren’t supposed to make it in a Z6 so you might as well get rid of them anyway.

Our lows here in S. NY were not especially low this winter, do you know how low you got?


#3

id give them some more time. blackberries are slow to wake up. like Alan said, they will resprout from root crowns.


#4

Give them time. Last year my PAF came up a good month agtwr all of my raspberrys.


#5

pick a cane and cut it about an inch or so from the tip repeat until you find green wood…if you dont find green wood its toast.


#6

Yes, last spring I thought mine were toast, but a month or so later the canes resprouted. You won’t see any berries this year on most kinds, though.


#7

During the polar vortex week, we were between -5 and -15 for about two days, which was the lowest we saw all winter.


#8

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I will give them more time to see if the roots rebound before doing anything. Crossing my fingers!


#9

That low will usually kill blackberries to the ground. If that is normal low for you (say -10F) you might need to set canes on the ground and cover with leaves over winter. You may need to trap or bait out mice, though. They like the leaf shelter and girdle nearby canes when they have the chance.