Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


My prime arks are blooming quite well - at least from what my unexperienced eye can tell. I did not expect them to bloom so early. Seems the fruits that have formed so far have gotten damaged by several night of temps in low 30’s. Hopefully those nights are gone and the blooms will start fruiting.


They look very nice in that raised bed. Were they planted last year? Are you using a single wire trellis for them?

I have 4 blackberry plants coming next week. PAF is one of them.


PAF is the earliest floricane blooming Arkansas thornless blackberry variety, followed shortly by Prime Ark Traveler


Yes, planted feb 2017 and I have 3 wire trellis that I plan on redoing with 4x4’s this winter. Seems PAF is a good choice.


Looks like my primeark freedom floracanes died and my primocanes are suffering too. Thinking about replacing them.

Anyone know if Traveler is more Hardy and tastes the same?

Osage seems to be pretty popular but doesn’t seem very hardy either. Anyone have any luck with Osage in 5b/6a?


im at z 3b/4a and my florocanes survived my raised bed but i covered in burlap , straw and 4ft of snow over winter. may get some berries in summer and late fall on primocanes. have them in high tunnels right now.


I’m in 6b, and just planted Osage, Ouachita and both of the PrimeArk varieties you mention. I guess I can give you an answer next year!

I think Traveler has the same hardiness as Freedom. The latter has a larger berry, but as far as flavor goes I don’t know. According to Indiana Berry, the PA berries are supposed to be hardy to Z5, the other UofA thornless varieties, to Z6.


Freedom and 45’s I planted last spring survived -10F with tip die back but mostly in good shape. A few died to the ground. The ones I planted last fall all died to the ground and I’m waiting to let you know survival rate. Some from last spring look ok.


I have a question for anyone who has grown PAF for more than a year. I just bought three potted PAF from Bob Well’s Nursery in TX. I haven’t put them in the ground yet. There were 3 good sized berries on one of the plants that ripened this week. The taste was sweet but the size of the seeds was shocking. They were very large seeds and I would say there was more seed than berry. Will this not be an issue next year? I really hope the seeds are smaller with more meat on it next year or I’ll be getting rid of them.


I only have one other type of Blackberry and I don’t know that I even think about one or the other being seedy. I definitely would not describe mine as being as seedy as you describe. I will also say that my berrries are starting the third year and I think they taste better this year than last year.

Do you live near Bob Wells or did you order? I am close to them.



I think I may give up on PAF, I planted 6 of them 2 years, ago, all 6 died, planted 5 more last year, and thought things were going ok as I had 4 left until recently, now 2 or the 4 look to be in bad shape all of a sudden as the summer heat has hit in the last week or two (high of 94 today here in Louisiana). The rest of my thornless blackberries seem to be doing fine, including my Prime Ark Travelers, Osage, Ouachita and Sweetie Pies. (too soon to tell anything about the lone bare root Triple Crown I planted about a month ago, though it may be a goner as well). I may try planting Von thornless blackberries next year.


from what i read they don’t like the heat like other blackberries. they grow fabulously up here but our season isnt long enough for the berries to ripen before the frost kills them.


Perhaps, but I do find it odd that Prime Ark Travelers thrive and Prime Ark Freedoms fail here.


that is strange.


Little extra rain makes some big berries
20180715 PAF large size


My primocanes are just now getting flower buds. The floricanes all froze, in spite of lots of insulation over the winter. I am not holding my breath that any ripen before frost.


I just remembered the other day that I was going to try to grow them at a slant. I didn’t have any boards handy, so put rocks on some of primocanes instead. We’ll see what happens.


same here


finally gave up on them here. even lost the canes i covered in 12in. of straw and burlap bags that were covered al winter in 7ft of snow. planted darrow and a wild VT blackberry i traded for. both are z4 rated so hoping for better luck.


I’m not sure how many PAF plants I want but they do continue to give me a few large and mostly sweet berries at time my others will not. Seeds are smaller than my others also.