Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


OK thanks, I just checked them out on the Pense berry site. Guess I figured they were floricane bearers since they were thorny, but that doesn’t really matter.

I’m really surprised you can get any blackberries where you’re at, but at least these new primocane BB’s give you some every fall. Do they get ripe enough before the first freezes?


We get a decent amount, we’ve had very late first freezes the last 2 autumn’s so thats been nice, been able to get about a month of harvesting. It sure would be nice to get a floricane crop however. I’ve tried the last 2 years to lay them down and cover with leaves to get them through the winter but it hasn’t worked, more snow would help. We have Prime Jim, Prime Jan, Prime Ark 45, and Prime Ark Freedom. The 45’s and Freedom’s taste the best.


They will likely produce a small amount of berries in the fall. I will let you know how my test crop I planted this last spring did this summer.


im in the same zone as you and i haven’t gotten my PAF to fully ripen up here. i buried the primocanes under straw and burlap to try and get a summer florocane crop. we get lots of snow which will help too. going to try high tunnel over them early and late season to see if i can ripen the primocane crop.


@Klondike_Mike, Thanks a lot, Mike. I appreciate knowing the two favorites as-well. Saves me the trouble of buying the others to learn the same damn thing.



Anyone on here try PA Traveler? I haven’t heard a lot of talk about it on the forum.


seems the PAT are more for the commercial market. from what I’ve read the PAF are superior in size and flavor but are more prone to leaking/ bruising.


I am growing some PAT in western Louisiana, planted 24 months ago, so far only a few Floricane berries, as it is likely too hot here most summers for Primocane berries even when shielded from afternoon sun. I planted 6 bare root PAT’s all have survived with variable growth, I planted 5 PAF’s at the same time, lost all 5, replanted with 5 or 6 again this year, and have lost all but 2 PAF’s So for me PAT is working out as being much more successful on the 8b/9a line. Also growing Osage, Ouachita, Sweetpie thornless blackberries here. The best growth of the bunch is from the Osage.


@39thparallel is growing a few primeark traveler.


Thanks, Ike. Wonder why the PAF are dying on you? I know they were developed in Arkansas, so you think they’d do well where you’re at. I wonder if they’re dying because they’re not getting enough chill?

I’ve heard good things about Osage, I’ll prob be trying those this year along with Ouachita, PAF and PAT.

Have you been able to try any berries from any of your thornless BB’s?

I wonder if there isn’t a lot of reports on PAT because they’re the newest UofA offering. I read they were only released within the last 5 years.


I see in my notes that I still had PAFs blooming on October 9, 2017. We often have frosts before that date, so not sure even a hoophouse or enclosure will totally ripen them here.
(Zone 4 east of St. Paul). Next summer I plan to try to grow them at a slant so they are easier to bend over to cover them in winter. I may have to give up on them if those tactics don’t help. I have been seriously covering them with styrofoam blocks and an insulating material, so some canes have survived the past two mild winters. The fall berries taste better than the summer ones, though.


I saw further up this thread that @David was trying some Traveler’s. Maybe you could please give us an update? Thanks.


My total year one harvest of thornless blackberries may amount to one large bowl full, most of which were Osage and Ouachita, of the two I would say Osage was the better. I have not had enough PAT’s or Sweetie Pie’s to form much of an opinion, though I will say the few PAT’s I tried had a rather tough skin. SweetiePie blackberries are a bit different, they are a USDA release developed to tolerate high heat in Mississippi, they are thornless with a more trailing bushy growth (lots of shorter canes growing out from a single mound in all directions) compared to my University of Arkansas varieties which seem to have longer more self supporting lanky canes.


Prime Ark Traveler do have a tough skin which makes them wonderful at shipping. I’m told they taste much like freedom but much more firm.


i have the same experience here. i too may have to give up on them if i can’t get them to ripen fruit. i have a few darrow growing with them so if the PAF don’t pan out ill prune them out and let the darrow take over. i also found my 1st. maine semi thornless wild blackberry growing not far from here. i have rooted cuttings sleeping in the garage. plan to make a patch of those come spring. small fruit but at least i know they will survive without help and fruit reliably. even the darrow isn’t completely hardy to my zone.


Clark, my experience with all my Prime Blackberries is the stems and even the leaves to some extent look green and lush all winter and into the spring and look very much alive. Then when it warms up they finally turn brown and die back to the ground. I think -9F will do them in, but I hope in your case I’m wrong.


Hope your wrong but you could be right. I will let you know in the spring. Thanks


You mentioned growing then at a slant so they are easy to cover…
Years ago when I grew black satin , I would put a board over the crown , befor the new shoots came up.
The shoots would hit that board and grow sideways out from under it , then up.
I the fall they were easy to lay down, and cover with mulch ,because at ground level they were already growing sideways. I quit doing this when Chester and triple crown came out, as they are winter hardy here.



I had a chance to speak with one of the folks in Central Va who grows some blackberries on his apple orchard. He grows Ouachita, Navaho and Apache. He used to grow Triple Crown but removed them. His plants are planted through landscape fabric.


I appreciate that Blueberrythrill. I looked up Dickie Brothers and they are zone 6a. I’m going to bite the bullet or pull the trigger and order starts.

If anyone would like to trade blackberry sprigs for stone fruit grafts or pears or nut trees, please PM me.

Kindest thanks again, Rick.