Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


That’s not true, some don’t produce much , others produce way more than primocanes, but all taste fantastic. I cut all mine down last year in an attempt to renew my plants, that didn’t really work, so never again. they seem to do better with the energy from floricanes, the plant can produce sugar very early compared to growing new canes, it could be a month or longer before the plant can produce sugar.
I do remove the top 1/3 as that has fruited, the lower 2/3 are the only part that will fruit. Floricane crops are usually bigger than primocane. Some cultivars do poorly from winter damage, but the hardy ones produce like crazy. After all 2/3 of the plant is producing, not 1/3 like in primocanes.
It does make them harder to manage, but I have summer bearing too, so have no choice in the matter, if I want berries that is. I myself much prefer the summer crop. In fall the berries developed in the cold, are not that good. So even though my plants produce till frost, I often stop picking them before because of poor size and quality.


i have a bunch of used burlap i use to cover my tender berries. lay the canes down. cover with a layer of straw then cover w/ burlap. i pin it down so the wind doesn’t blow it off. last year, i didn’t cover them at all and about 3ft . of the cane that was covered in snow survived. no berries tho. because our season is too short. gonna put them under high tunnels this spring. hopefully i can get some fruit that way.


Picked one ripe PAF yesterday. The low last night of 30 probably shut them down until next year. From a taste standpoint it is my best.


Where is the line ?
People from the north say they have winter kill of unprotected tops
And in the south none.
Let’s hear from some in the middle.
Like :
Where is the line ?


id like to know too. id guess z6 would be safe most yrs. for most commercial varieties. the wild semi thornless blackberry i found this summer is hardy to z 3b with no die off but the berry is half the size of commercial ones. I’ve sent some cuttings of these to Ken at Oikios tree crops in hopes he can breed a more cold hardy commercial blackberry cultivar. anyone else interested in trying to do this let me know. ill send you some cuttings next spring. could be profitable to market a blackberry that thrives 2 zones colder than other commercial cultivars. :wink:


Moose, you could try and cross them with prime ark 45 which is zone 5 hardy because a primocane cold hardy zone 3 blackberry would be incredible! The berries are larger which could make a medium berry. You will need to kiss a lot of frogs to find that berry plant! Plant thousands of seeds is what it would take but the genetics are there.


i agree but I’ve never done any breeding before. was hoping someone who did would take on the task. maybe ill give it a try next year. you got a few pa 45’s you would like to donate to the cause next spring? could trade you some of my stuff or some of my wild blackberries to try your hand at breeding them yourself. :wink:


We are in a similar location to you, what do you do with your canes for the winter, especially blackberries?


All the 45’s I have are planted in my fields. Wish I knew a day ago. I’m not bringing in any new canes right now besides from Pense or Nourse because I have to many acres of blackberries to take chances with unknown berries. @Drew51 is doing some berry breeding and might be interested in crossing some plants.


clark, i emailed Dr. Clark at the U of Ark. he said they won’t likely cross with pa 45 because pa are triploid chromosomes. did give me the emails of heads of the breeding divisions at Cornell u and another in nova scotia. they both have active blackberry breeding programs. ill see what they say.


Yes, I decided to go in another direction, I really appreciate you offering to help.


I did not realize they are Triploid. That’s to bad because that means they can’t be crossed so my suspicion is whatever they bred to produce it they are still crossing. Cold hardy berries that produce 2 crops would be very valuable if they had time to make a second crop before the snow comes.


The old varietys black satin ,etc are not winter hardy here.
I did cover for a few years , but quit. After a mild winter they would produce.
Mostly I have abandoned those long ago.
Chester and triple crown over winter fine here (Wv.) no protection,.
My prime ark freedom ,I just got this spring ,so have not overwintered,
It is in my high tunnel ,which usually offers a lot of protection.
One bad thing about an un heated high tunnel is; it can really warm up in the middle of the winter on sunny days. The perennial s start to grow, then it freezes ,resulting in damage.
The same plant outside sometimes un damaged.


Did the variety of raspberry you developed do ok? I sometimes get accidental berry crosses but I don’t have the time or resourcrs for additional breeding. My apple breeding pet project consumes a lot of space.


i layed my plants down and covered with straw/ burlap for winter. then come end of apr. i uncover them and put up my hoop house till nov.


Yes, although it didn’t fruit in the fall, it looks like it may be summer bearing. Which is really strange as both parents are fall bearing. It’s only 1.5 years from seed, so it’s really young. Maybe it will fruit in the fall next year? Berries are excellent I got some on the summer crop, off the canes that developed out of the seed. This is not usually the case, they can fruit in 3 years, or 2, but one? Never heard of that happening before?
I know I had to scale back.

I get them too, I usually discard them, but kept a few excellent looking ones this year. Yes time is a problem for me too, I’m rebuilding my cottage slowly and I need a good six weeks a year there to work on it. Next year I plan to hire some help. I’m getting too old to do it all. Many of my plants suffered while i was gone this year. I’m still trying to catch up in the garden. I have time now though.


Since PAF is a primocane berry I assumed I should just cut the spent canes this fall since they will not produce any summer berries next year.


My largest crop is on the floricanes from last year. Then as the primocanes emerge they begin bearing.


This goes to show how little I know about berries. I was under the assumption that PAF only fruited on the primocanes. Did not realize the flourocanes also fruited.

Guess it would make send to still cut them back by 1/3 like everbearing raspberries?


The floricane that produced the fruit this year should die on its own. The primocane that will come up next year is the heavier fruiting cane is my understanding of the Arkansas blackberries. Some say not to remove the floricane until it dies since it is still helping bring nutrients to the plant.