Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


Fall sounds like a perfect time in E. Texas to plant them. I prefer fall planting for most things, if only the nursery industry would cooperate.


Thanks. That was my thought but i sure hate putting the “babies” in the ground and then while they are dormant I worry… I just don’t have a lot of experience to fall back on.


K8t, you’re going to worry, no matter what. That’s the way it goes with babies of all kinds - they fill you with both hope and worry every step of the way.


Prime Ark Freedom Berries are large and tasty.
Trouble is the borers, the birds and now Anthracnose are conspiring against this crop.


Raspberry cane borers have been a bane on mine (and on the raspberries) What does anthracnose look like on berries?

The berries in your pic are gorgeous! I had a few earlier in the summer that might have been half that size. Right now there are some more berries just starting to develop. I’d love to see them get near that size!


Sorry, Muddy i missed your question.
Anthracnose kills more canes than borers in my orchard.

photo credit:Perdu

Starts out as innocent looking brown dots then grows & grows… :cry:


Cane borer damage is showing up in large quantities on my Freedom blackberries. I had the same problem on my Natchez two years ago. I’m wondering if the borers prefer the Freedoms over my three other varieties. Bill


They do seem to love the taste of the new freedom variety.
The plants have nice big healthy canes so i think if i was a borer this would look like a nice place to live.
I think there are 3 species of cane borers and we have them all here in our new PAF’s
Borers must like to try new plant variety’s like us gardeners…


Here is a link to gardenweb user “Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)”

These are great photos of PAF primacane fruit.


Raspberry crown borer seemed seemed to prefer my Kiowas over Apache, Navahos, and Ouachitas. It may be the Kiowas had been planted the longest.


Does this look like it might be about to bloom? This is the oldest of my PAF blackberry root cuttings and it is still a baby… About a foot tall in a 3 gallon pot. I was going to wait until fall to put these in the ground so they are still in the greenhouse. As you can tell I’m really a novice here–just so excited to be actually attempting something larger than a veggie garden.


The Prime Ark Freedom is my first blackberry to start growing which might be the reason that it is reported to ripen ten days before the Natchez. The featured blackberry in the picture is a late spring root sprout from where I remove the original. Hope to get enough of the early crop to compare with my other varieties. Bill

Pic 001


It’s nice to see yours waking up, Bill. Mine have been insomniacs this winter. They never went completely dormant. One seems to be determined to grow the first berry of the year, and has kept making a few blossoms at a time since the first of the year. It hasn’t succeeded in making berries, yet; there have been no pollinators, and they’ve gone through two bouts of lower 20’s night temperatures. All of the PAFs here are now pushing growth along their entire canes. They also seem to be starting new flower buds daily. There are now more buds on them than they had the entire previous season. There’s a chance that I’ll get more than one ripe berry from them this year.

Mine did not do well last year. The tips of canes and branches kept dying back.


I have two groups of them, bought at two different times and places. I’m not positive they are the same plants. One group has gone dormant and does not seem to be waking although there are some tight buds all along the canes. My other group never went dormant but the new growth now is prolific. They too are putting up blooms that are going nowhere but then we are not past our average frost date and had a freeze the last two nights. They have not flinched in the cold (well…cold for us–28 degrees.) The other group still sitting there with a few purple leaves. I really don’t think this group is PAF. I guess I’ll never know…


Hope you get enough fruit to see how you like them. The PAF has enough different characteristics that you can observe and get a pretty good idea of what type berry you have. The fruit is a different size and shape than any others that I have and it is supposed to be the first thornless/primacane fruiting variety. There is another recent release but I doubt that you have had enough time to get it. Good luck. Bill


I really don’t know enough about growing blackberries to make a judgement but the canes and the way they grow just doesn’t seem to be similar. The first set had 5 leaves to a group and the second set had only three. The leaves of the first group are a dark green and have gone dark purple since the fall while the second group stayed very green with some bronzing on the edges. The canes of the older ones are much longer and more “whip like” if that makes sense. The second group is more compact and “bushy”. The first group was bare root plants while the second group was 4" root cuttings. Now the one set is still growing and the other is waiting. It will be interesting to see the fruit.


The rabbits ate my PAF down to the ground :angry:, guess I’ll have to wait till Sept. for the primocane berries to get a taste. . .


I would urge people living in tropical, rainy, humid conditions to at least give PAF blackberry a try. My plants have been in the ground for almost a year. Just started harvesting my first berries (from floricanes surprisingly, not primocanes) and I am thoroughly impressed with their size and flavor!
That’s my dad in the picture.


Mine are blooming… Zone 8a


Hello all PAF growers.
So what is the conclusion of the matter? Updates? Pros? Cons? Other advice?
@aphahn @timclymer @David @Auburn @k8tpayaso @MuddyMess_8a @Hydro
How do they taste in comparison to other blackberries? Are they disease/insect magnets?
And how/when do you prune these? Once a cane has borne do you remove it or will that same cane bear in the fall?
Trying to decide whether to do these. Thanks for your input.