Normal yields for a typical blackberry cane

hey folks. this is my first full crop of my Nelson blackberries. this is the 1st real cultivar ive got to grow here .whats normal production of blackberries per cane? of the 4 original plants i have 9 fruiting floricanes each cane has an average of 30 spurs of which have an average of 20 berries per spur. some many more. is this normal for blackberries? my best raspberries arent even half that. do all of them finish to fruiting? i can see all the drupes on them so theyre pollinated. covered with bumbles, mason and sweat bees. and theyre still making more spurs and flowers as we speak. ive grown alot of cane fruit but these things are on steriods! really looking forward to planting more next spring.


blackberry’s can be really productive.
I’m not sure you can really classify it as productivity per cane. Depends on if and how long you prune the cane. How many canes per plant you allow etc. Just like asking how many apples an apple tree will give, depends on variety pruning style rootstock etc.

I think classifying them as yield per surface area (m^2) would be most useful.
If never really measured. But i think 4kg per m^2 of surface area (or area it shades) could be possible. that would put them around strawberry’s yield wise. But that’s just my guess from my experience. Not from factual data or a university source.

for me in order of productivity
Blackberry / loganberry
rasphberry (for me, the fall bearing are most productive, and i let them bear in spring and in fall. (or they basically go almost the whole growing season)
Japanese wineberry (i find these the tastiest, but the berries are small, and hard to store. So more a pick and eat thing, than something id make ice or jam from.

I am quite amazed by all the berries on my Nelson’s. They ripen over a very long period, too. But those thorns! You nearly need a suit of armor to pick them. Keep the canes protected with wire or repellant over winter , though, as the deer and rabbits just laugh off the thorns. I’ve never bothered to count the berries, nor weigh them, though. Nelson is the only variety that has been successful for me without any babying. Tasty, though seedy. So far the birds haven’t bothered them, either. We like them in milkshakes, straining out the seeds with our teeth.

1 Like

The Nelson’s will also spread, so no need to order more next spring, unless you can’t wait for a huge patch.

1 Like

The average number of berries per spur varies among varieties, but keeps to a fairly narrow range per individual variety.

The production per cane will depend on the pruning style, and how many linear feet can be forced per cane (main cane length + length of all laterals).

1 Like

yeah i know. been digging some out 10-15ft. from the raised bed. i didnt tip the canes as these are the 1st floricanes from tissue cultured plants put in in may 2020. these are about 7ft. tall. cant imagine the amount of fruit if theyre tipped with laterals! as it is ive had to tie them up so they dont fall on the ground from the fruit load. yes, i need to build a trellis next year .seeds dont bother me as long as they taste good… i like the texture.

I tip my Nelsons at about 5 or 6 feet so I can reach the tops to pick them. They haven’t gotten much for laterals, but are stiff and stout, no need for staking. They have been pretty carefree so far, just critter protection and a little fertilizer. Even the birds haven’t bothered them and they grow taller than the weeds. The main problem is those sharp thorns can easily draw blood.

1 Like

Where’d you get the Nelson blackberry from? I’ve been thinking about trying some but haven’t done much research on hardy varieties yet.

@steveb4 - I am glad you are having some good luck with blackberries up there with this variety.

The way northwoodswis4 describe his canes sounds very much like my hardi ilinni blackberries. They are a very erect stout cane and I top mine around 5 ft, and they do send out latterals after that but only like in the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the canes, the bottom half there is really nothing but the main cane coming up, but then they branch out some in the top half.

I would estimate that my hardi ilinni produce 2-3-4 lbs of fruit per plant - not a super heavy producer but they are very good berries, flavor is spot on with our wild berries, but they are quite a bit larger and sweeter than wild. I like that.

The berries that set on my plants… yes they do ripen, so I would say if you have little green berries formed, you are very likely to get to eat those with time… Mine size up, turn red, then eventually black.

Notice the thorns on those … they do keep the birds and squirrels away. I don’t have any problems with critters eating them (other than some Japanese beetles)

This is what my hardi ilinni looked like on June 12… got the first few ripe berries on 6/15 and today we are getting lots of berries daily.

Below is what they look like when fully ripe.

In the OGW catalog… they have several different types/varieties of blackberries, but they only mention per plant production on two (best I can tell). I have a older 2020 catalog in my office that I am reading from, and I remember that their older (past 2-3 years) said this same thing. On Thornless NAVAHO they say 15 lbs per plant, and on TRIPPLE CROWN they say 30 lbs per plant.

Wow that is a lot of berries per plant. No idea if that is true, or just catalog talk.

Could you try and describe the taste of your Nelsons ?

Would you rate the flavor as Excellent, Good, Poor ? Can you describe it ?

What would you say is the Sweet/Tart ratio ? for example 50/50 sweet/tart or 70/30 sweet/tart

I might want to give those a try myself.




Another question …

I noticed this last night, on the burnt ridge nursery site…

Trailing blackberries have thorns and a more classic sweet blackberry flavor. Black Butte, Columbia Star, Kotata, Obsidian, and Sylvan Blackberry will all require support and more frequent pruning of their vigorous spreading canes. These cultivars produce some of the best tasting, large, sweet blackberries. Typically not the hardiest, but newer developments such as Sylvan Blackberry do better in extreme hot or cold weather and are hardy up to Zone 3. Marionberry is very popular in the Pacific Northwest and is considered the standard of excellence for blackberries.

I would really like to try a Trailing blackberry variety sometime… notice what he says (some of the best tasting, large, sweet blackberries). and then what he says about Sylvan Blackberry… doing better in extreme hot or cold (hardy to Zone 3).

For me I would need the Heat tolerance - but you would need the cold tolerance. Steve I notice you are in 3b/4a.

Have you ever tried Sylvan Blackberries.

It is a Marionberry/ORUS 742 cross per OGW… taste much like the famous Marionberry, but more hardy. The pics of them - they do look like a big nice berry. May be as close to a Marionberry as I could actually grow here.

Just wondering if any of you have tried them, and if so how you liked them.


well seeing this is the 1st cultivar blackberry ive ever tried , i only have the tasteless supermarket ones to compare. i also only got 2 last summer to try so ill wait for these to fully ripen and give a review on here. of the 2 i tried they were very good compared to store bought. i have wild canadian blackberries here but the fruit is only the size of a medium raspberry. nelsons are even better.

i also have a dewberry i got from rolling river a few years ago. got a handful last year and they were excellent. bigger berries than the nelsons. more like a regular sized blackberry but has a zing to it that makes its taste superior to them. its not as productive as a blackberry but but it looks like i have a couple hundred blooms on them right now with more forming/ blooming daily. they flowered 2 weeks after nelsons. really looking forward to them as well. thorns are more like a thorny red raspberry. they throw 20ft canes. i leave them on the ground in the winter and trellis them behind my strawberry raised bed in spring. their website said theyre hardy to z3 and so far have proven so. the primocanes are happy to grow out the summer in the shade of my raised beds.


I haven’t much to compare my blackberries to. The Nelsons taste better than PAFs, but are smaller, though very prolific. I haven’t tasted Southern ones yet to spoil me.

1 Like

me neither. they grow about a in. long, 3/4in. wide. have a rich taste. maybe they will be a little bigger now that i put the fertilizer to them this spring.

My Nelson’s are more like 3/4 inch long.

1 Like