Bristol vs Jewel black raspberry growth

I have several “Jewel “and “Bristol“ black raspberries.

This will be my first fruiting year, and I have a lot of flower buds showing on both, but I have noticed that, while Jewel is said to have a larger fruit and be more disease resistant, Bristol seems to be a far more vigorous plant.

Most of my Bristol plants have already sent out somewhere between four and eight new primocanes, but most of the Jewels have 1 to 4 so far. Not including my one Jewel plant that looks chlorotic or stunted for some reason.

Can anyone else confirm this to be their experience as well?

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I have a Ohios treasure, Anne and Caroline raspberry plants. Ohios Treasure was obtains in September so has shown little growth. My Anne showed some growth but very little. My Caroline showed little growth and I am pretty sure just died. Meanwhile my Bristol was the first to show green growth this spring and they had all sent up lots of shoots. I can see why some people don’t like black raspberry plants opposed to yellow or red. My yellow and red raspberries had few thorns. Some got stuck in you but they were not too bad. I could pull out the yellows and reds for transplanting pretty easily. Meanwhile my black raspberries are like roses that spread like wildfire. In one year each one sent up canes all around the crown and there was massive thorns that go all the way to the roots.


I have grown ‘Jewel’ blackcap for 25 years and it has always been stingy with protocanes, just 1 to 3 per clump per year. After 5 years for any one clump, I would recommend tip-rooting new plants if you want to keep the variety going long-term. My most vigorous Jewels are about 1/2" thick at the base and ~10 feet long. Most are smaller/shorter.

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So even an observation with the new plants I tip routed last fall:

Bristol - three specimens. Four to seven primocanes each.

Jewel - three specimens. Two have just one. One has three but two are pretty weak.

Have you tried late-winter or early spring fertilizers? ‘Jewel’ primocane count may max out at year two or three after tip-rooting.

1… Ohio TB
2… My mystery black…

Looks like they are sending up plenty of primos near the crown. I remember that later in the spring last year my mystery black sent up some root shoots too.

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Bristol, tip rooted last fall and already pushing 5 new primocanes.

Jewel, rooted same time.


@BG1977 … nice looking primos…

I noticed some black rasp fruit starts today…
Can’t wait.


Wow. Mine aren’t blooming yet.

May have to find a spot for a loganberry. I’m intrigued. Looks like a couple places still have some in stock.

(OGW and Berries Unlimited)

I bought a Logan from OGW last February. It is growing in-ground nicely.


One thing that would clear it up as whether or not Munger has reddish new growth, because Bristol definitely does, whereas Jewel does not.


This article will answer your questions (and maybe create more questions).

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So… which black raspberry to add to my collection ?

I have one black raspberry (unknown type) nursery mixup… good berry but not a heavy producer (Compared to my heritage reds).

I have propagated it by tip root and spread it around some. Love the fruit but its berries are often small. No fall crop.

I have ohio treasure black… which here makes a decent june crop… decent sized berries but is sort of skimpy on fall crop.

I see descriptions of munger/bristol saying great taste, high production.

Can any of you testify to that ?
Would also like to know exactly when the crop ripens at your location.

Anyone growing Cumberland ?
Would love to here taste, production, ripening time details on any black raspberries… especilly good producers.

I want to add a new bed this spring to bump up my black raspberry production. They are my fav raspberries… make aweome jam.


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I have to say that Bristol grows much better for me. I’ve had two of my Jewel plants die off randomly, but none of my Bristols have done that.

I do have two Cumberland plants, but 2023 will be the first year I get any significant fruit from them. The couple fruits I got this year were indistinguishable from Bristol, (Jewel fruit was just different enough to tell apart) although the plant is somewhat different. No reddish new growth, somewhat thinner canes.

Thanks @BG1977 … I will try some Bristol / Munger… I noticed that OGW calls them Munger…where Indiana Berry calls them Bristol… but they do state that they are the same as Munger.

Think I am going to have to try a Purple Royalty too.

Found this nice chart on the Indiana Berry site…

Something not quite right about their Fruiting Season “4” on Heritage Reds… here in TN mine start ripening end of May, and ripen thru most of June… they take off July and August and start back up again in September and go until frost.

Perhaps up north they do not get the first huge spring/early summer crop that I get.
I get a BIG crop of raspberries late May and June… and then smaller trickle in harvest in the fall.

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Last year mine ripened as follows:

Bristol - June 18
Jewel - June 23
Royalty - June 30
Glencoe - June 30

All 4 varieties have about 3 to 4 weeks picking season.

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@BG1977 … you are something like 350 miles north of me…

I bet they would ripen 2 or 3 weeks earlier here.

I remember last spring I had black rasp fruit developing… and yours had not bloomed yet.

Thanks for the date details.

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