Berry plant and harvest report 2019


Hmmm… so if they are PAF, do I prune them the same way? Normally I would cut the primocane back to 4-5 feet in late june to have it put out laterals. If it is PAF, can that reduce or inhibit fruiting on the primocanes?


From what I’ve read folks prune PAF and PAT lower than floricane blacks, I personally have been topping mine at about 30-36". This will induce more fruiting laterals, and also keep the canes from getting too tall and unstable, which could cause them to break under the weight of the fruit. The fruit should bear on the tips of the laterals.

If they’re not primocane bearers, topping them at 4-5ft would prob be the right call. Judging by the color of the canes in your pics, they have that brown look of a floricane.

One question, are these fruiting on the tips of the canes or further down? If further down, then they might be Ouachita, Natchez or some other floricane bearer.

Maybe @k8tpayaso could chime in?

Since I have both PAF and Ouachita, let me get some pics of the leaves.


They are fruiting on floricanes from last year at this point. They were just planted last year, so their timing might be off still, so hard to know but they seem very early which fits with PAF I think. The primocanes didn’t fruit last year, but they were only planted last Spring, so maybe that was the reason … if they are PAF. If this year’s primocanes fruit, I guess I’ll know but right now it remains a mystery.

They are from Pense Berry Farms and must be one of the ones from this page… although definitely not the Osage they were supposed to be:

The fruit looks most closely like the PAF, since they are quite long. I guess I’ll split the difference and chop the primocanes at around 3.5 feet and see what shows up… if no primocane crop then maybe Arapaho? Natchez? Or something exciting and new from a secret breeding program?


I just took some pics of leaves from PAF and Ouachita.

PAF has these huge five leaves, some look pointy, others are roundish. These are all primocane leaves, fwiw:

Ouachita, leaves seem to come in threes, although there are some with five:

Still, though hard to tell a real difference, other than PAF’s leaves are huge.

Some Ouachita berries, a long way from ripe:


From what I remember, Arapaho has a similar growing habit. I don’t remember when they ripened but the fruit were small in my yard so I pulled it last year. Natchez is a little less erect but more erect than Triple Crown. The berries are large and long, perhaps relatively longer than PAF in relation to width from what I saw in my yard last year. The berry size between those 2 are similar though. PAF was sweeter than Natchez.


They do look like PAF berries and growth pattern. If you have primocanes that have grown to 8 foot you’re going to have to rig some very tall support or cut them in half now. Primocane berries form on the tips and the weight of them break your canes. Here are some photos of mine and they were cut back at about 30 inches st one time and some of them have been tipped since then. I’ve got to get out tomorrow and rig up some support for mine.

Here’s a cane that fell just because of it own weight

They are super super vigorous and will take over your yard like weeds!! I cannot stay on top of mine…and they don’t produce as well unless you control them. EVERY YEAR I CUT MINE LOWER AND SAY I’M GOING TO CONTROL THEM BUT I HAVE FAILED EVERY YEAR. They taste wonderful and they are big berries but if they have a fault it is getting out of control…


I did some research on the UArk thornless berries. Natchez (floricane variety) is one
of the first to ripen, first harvest (in AR) is about June 6. Floricane crop of PAF first harvest date is abt May 28. Natchez has a comparable berry size to PAF.

So, it could be a Natchez fruiting on last year’s canes. Or based on the ripening time a PAF…


I think I’ve already topped a dozen PAF canes, trying to get them at 30". There might be another 5 or so that are getting near that height.

Only had to top about 3-4 canes on Traveler, not as vigorous, but at least I’m getting floricane berries off that plant.

Going to need to get a wire trellis set up soon. This is why:


if it’s PAF, i’d recommend topping the primocanes down to about 20”. the laterals will then shoot up to form a Y shape, and those can be trimmed down to 12-14”, which will give you laterals off the laterals, and ultimately a more compact bush. these are the measurements to which the UofA team topped their PAFs.

this is only my second year of PAF production, their third in the soil, but i think i have enough experience to answer my own question from last year: would i sacrifice a few primocane buds to allow for greater lateral growth? a definite yes! why? because of the quantity of floricane fruiting the next year. (also, the birds in my area don’t seem to bother the floricane fruit as much in the spring, for some reason.)

of course, aiming for a big floricane crop the next year isn’t feasible for growers in much colder areas, where PAF floricanes can die in the winter. protecting them with frost cover is beyond my experience.


Yes, that would be the correct aim. I hadn’t read that but ideally if you can keep them low and lateral you get the best floricane harvest but I just find myself forgetting to check them daily and these grow soooo fast. It takes watching for those first canes and then daily management. I’m a failure! :joy::joy::joy:


Good points. That’s my dilemma, as I lost the mega-cane on my PAF because of cold, and there were no other canes, so I get no floricane berries this year. Granted it was a brutal winter here, and we might be okay next year, but I have to keep that it mind with my pruning. Maybe I’ll just top them a couple times, but not do as much lateral pruning so I can get a few more berries on this year’s canes.

Osage got hit hard too, but at least I’ll get some flori-berries. I’m topping the new canes, though, at about 4ft.

I have Triple Crown, too, which fruits later in the summer, so I might get primo-berries off of PAF before TC…


as one blinks, PAF grows a few inches.
rewrite: “jack and the beanstalk” —> “jack and the prime ark”


My established berry plants are doing fantastic this year-all loaded with fruit! Blueberries, currants, cherry bushes, honey berries, guomi and gooseberries. My elderberry bushes are about to flower along with the blackberries which I have growing wild. I think the long cool spring has been great for all the berries. I planted an orchard in my larger space, red, pink and black currants-about 200, 20 goose berry bushes, 24 blueberry bushes, 20 kiwi berry vines, 6 grape vines, 15 Chicago Hardy figs, 10 Saskatoon bushes, 15 seaberry bushes and some trees (persimmon, paw paw, Asian pear and jujube.

My mother in law has a very old gooseberry Bush that she says is a baby of the one her parents had 75 years ago. I have to say it out grows and produces all of the other 6 cultivars I have. I named it Grandma’s gooseberry.




Finally got the raspberry run all weeded, wow, what a job. My ankles and feet are reminding me to mulch the patch soon. Looks great, though.

My Bristol black had a 3ft primocane, so topped that at 30". Looks like we might even get a few small berries off it even. While the black rasps weren’t really prolific in sending up canes, the yellows and reds were. I’ll try to get some pics of the cleaned up run soon.

Was able to try an almost ripe Prelude berry, I split it with the missus. It was pretty good considering it’s the first rasp of the year. Pretty tart, little bit sweet, and good raspberry flavor. There are a few other berries close to ripe, just hope we get them before the birds/deer/rabbits…


Wow, that’s a lot. Which varieties do you have and which are your favorites? And what do you do with all that fruit?


Strawberries are getting close in southern Michigan. If we can dry out a bit, it will be a great year for our berries.


I have in red currants: Red Lake, Rovada, Perfection and Jankeers Van Tet, for black: Consort and Titania in pink just pink champagne, in white (at my house): Bianca and Imperial White. My reds are too young for comparing but Titania is superior to Consort-larger tastier berries, larger faster growing bush. And Bianca over Imperial-nicer strings of berries.
I have up until now just processed them for my family and friends into juice and jelly but going forward I am probably going to sell plants and possibly do a pick your own.


Prelude is just trickling in but Joan J had been in full production for a about a week. This is kind of an every morning type of thing.


just put in 5 joan j last month as well as some prelude and acc eden. should get some joan j in late summer to try. I’ve heard good reviews on their taste. i also have polka, autumn britten, jaclyn, royalty and anne.