Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


I have a PAF patch planted this spring that should produce good croup next year. does anyone spray them for insects or are brambles mostly organically grown? I have large patches of wild blackberries all over my property but they have small white bugs crawling around inside. I would like to prevent them from being inside my PAF. What/When are you all spraying for insects on BB?


I don’t spray mine but I don’t have any wild ones around to introduce pests. I’m waiting for an attack of SWD, I have a few in my raspberry’s.


so far no bugs in mine. i see some nurseries are rating these plants hardy to z 5. mine have survived below snow line in my z3b but the berries that i get don’t get to fully ripen so this fall i layed my canes down and covered in straw and burlap sacks. come spring I’m going to put them under a high tunnel. hopefully i can get a crop. they are the most vigorous cane fruit I’ve ever grown! bet if you sat near a plant in june and stared at it long enough i you could see them grow!


Anyone grow these in a hoop or greenhouse? @fruitnut? I know you have berries inside do you have these? I am assuming you still have BB’s inside. I am definateley wanting to grow BB’s inside this year. Thanks!



No Freedom but still have three varieties of western trailing.


I have PAF in an un heated H.t. Planted this last spring .
Small harvest of the biggest berries I ever saw this fall.
See my pic in post PAF.


Monster for sure! Very cool.


I did not prune last years primocanes and most of them are over 12 feet long. Should I prune them now, wait until spring to prune or just leave them long? I want to ensure highest quality berries.

I plan on tipping the new canes that grow this summer to correct this mistake in future.


What’s going to happen is when those canes get fruit on them they are going to break. The reason I know this is that experience is the best teacher. I had mine kind of supported by paracord between t-posts. If they go straight up they are going to break. As far south as you are you might be able to shorten them to six feet and still get some growth out of them for floricane berries. When spring comes start looking for the primocanes coming up because they will get too tall before you ever notice. Did I say that experience is the best teacher?


They are trellised pretty good so they won’t break regardless of whether I prune or not.


If they are supported through the whole twelve foot length then you are good to go. I’d just let them fruit and enjoy it. Those big berries are really heavy and I thought I had mine supported so they wouldn’t break but several did. Some just broke over but didn’t lose nutrient flow so the berries were good. After they fruit those canes are done anyway so support them well and get you a ladder to pick the berries!!!


I have a 6’ high x 24’ long trellis system. Most of the really long canes are tied horizontally to the top two wires. Everything is off the ground and tied pretty ridgelly to a thick wire. Thanks


I let mine get much too tall last year and with the rainy summer I had problems with disease. I gave mine a good trimming last fall. I won’t have nearly as many berries this year but I’m vowing to keep them tipped at four feet from now on. And I’m not just going to “tip” them but I’m going to let them get about 4 1/2 to 5 feet and cut them down to four. That’s because when I tip mine the new laterals go straight up another foot or two and I really want them to fill out more at a lower height. I’m not sure that will work but a video I saw once recommended it so I’m going to give it a try. If anyone here knows a reason I shouldn’t then tell me… these PAF’s will get out of hand faster than you can say jack rabbit!


And you grow them up a trellis is that right? Are you interested in Prime Ark? Thank you Sir.


My trailing types are on a trellis. If not they’d be flat on the ground. PAF sounds wonderful but honestly I’m about out of time and space.


Prune them just before bud break. Yes a plant can only produce so much sugar, pruning should make the berries sweeter, and bigger too. It’s hard to do. I also remove weak canes and leave the strongest, and best spaced canes.
That is conventional wisdom, you can leave them too, and decide what work best for you.

No you’re doing it as most suggest, you can limit laterals to one or two feet too. You can prune primocanes anytime while growing and even the next year before bud break. In the middle of winter is not the best time as dissication can be an issue with uncut canes, and more so with fresh wounds


The PAF has a lot of things going on at my location. It blooms early and a few are killed but several remain for an early crop (earliest of all I’ve tried). At my location the first crop is well ahead of the heat and pest that goes with it. The second primacane crop starts to ripen while the temps are hot but if the section that fruited are pruned off just below the fruited section they will continue with another flush of blooms that go until freezing weather last season. As I said before PAF is complex but in my opinion worth the effort because it offers a large berry and the best tasting of all I have tried. I’m still learning how to best manage them for my needs. It is interesting to see your experience with the PAF. Bill


Is anyone else having trouble getting Prime Ark Freedoms to grow? I planted 5 or 6 PAF’s 2 years ago (I also have other varieties U of Arkansas thornless blackberries growing), lost all of them replanted 4 or 5 more this year, only 1 is left alive. I planted 6 Prime Ark Travelers 2 years ago at the same time as the inital Prime Ark Freedoms, and only lost one (an animal dug it up), the rest are doing well, though may not be keeping up with some of my others like my Osage blackberries. I am on the 8b/9a line in Louisiana.


I really don’t think PAF’s are suited to hot weather. I have mine planted for afternoon shade and I think it’s necessary for them here. No real evidence of that but just a gut feeling I have… I do have one bed of them that is not going to get much afternoon shade so I’ll find out this year. I did lose one in that bed and it was the one that got the most sun. Another one that got mostly full sun didn’t do well but didn’t die. I did have a greenhouse there that gave them afternoon shade and those two weren’t shaded. Now that greenhouse has been moved so I don’t know what to expect.


that could be as i planted mine late may and all 5 survived. only grew to 4ft. the 1st season but the 2nd year they grew like weeds! just can’t get the berries to ripen completely in my zone. our summers are too short. doing high tunnels over them next year to extend the season.