It is exhibiting vertical growth in this location so I’m going to cut it back to about a third, thin it out a bit, and start encouraging side branching.
As stated in another thread, V. ovatum does just fine with pH 5.8 to 6.2. I fertigate them with acidifying formulas designed for roses, azaleas, etc. The berries are very small until the plant reaches mature size. They are not as sweet as blueberries but have much greater anthocyanin content. Being a California native they are also a favorite of local birds.
eHucks have a random growth pattern and do not need to be tended exactly like blueberries for good production. They do not like to be moved, so stick with your location. I would let this plant grow another year or two before any major pruning.
At maturity and if many basal suckers are allowed to grow, this shrub can actually be sheared to shape, of course fruit production will be low then.
Thanks Larry . I was thinking along those lines. So far my experience here has been little branching far below the pruning point, excellent branching at the node below the pruning point, plus an increase in basal suckers. My hope is to get something going that is “bushy” above 16".
I had a few huckleberries when I was in Portland earlier this year and was so impressed with the flavor that I purchased a few of them to grow back home (Kentucky). I am curious about their cold hardiness…anyone have any experience with this outside of the PNW?
The berries were identified as huckleberries, so my assumption was that it was an evergreen huckleberry variety since they were sourced locally. I purchased my plants mail order from a nursery in Oregon, so I’m pretty sure that is what I have in hand.
I think I read that the usda hardiness zone was a minimum of 7. With that said, I have four rabbiteye blueberry bushes that have the same zone minimum and they fruit well every year despite winter temperatures that fall to -5F or lower. I guess there is I only one way to find out for sure.
The wild evergreen huckleberry fruits from the northern CA thru B.C. coastal ranges are the size of small blueberries and not as sweet as cultivated blueberries. They are also a staple in the diet of local black bears.
Probably “One Green World”? They have the real deal.
I purchased the huckleberry bushes from another nursery but I did stop at OGW and purchased a Nightfall Blackberry plant, which I carried on my flight back to Cincinnati. It was a pain but it wasn’t the first time…haha.
“Huckleberries” passed out in Portland Oregon are more likely to be from the nearby mountains: thinleaf huckleberry, etc. Local evergreen hucks are very dark (blackish), very small, and have a relatively thick skin. Individually they are not as tasty as mountain varieties, but in a mass and baked, they can be very good.