Replanting Blueberry Bushes

I spent most of the day to replant my northern highbush blueberry bushes. Originally I thought deer would not bother them. So I planted them outside my fenced area. This has not worked out well. Deer did snapped some tender shoots. Also, that area is at the border of drip line of large trees like red oaks. They compete for water. So those bushes have not been producing. I also get 5 old bushes that planted too closely, 4’ apart. I need to replant them to 5’ spacing. Hope can get it done tomorrow. The open area will be open for fig bushes. Here is that I have:


O’Neal, BlueRay and BlueJay are early, large berries and good. Duke is early, but berries are smaller. So we tend to skip them. Elliott is late. When it ripens, we have early summer drought. So it is better to have early varieties in my climate. Both BlueRay and Northland are very vigorous and large bushes. In total I get 17 bushes. Need to get them productive.


I’m interested in recommendations for productive blueberries with smaller berries, for Massachusetts. Ideally an early and a late.

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Most of my varieties are common ones I purchased from big stores. There may be new varieties. Not sure if they make much difference. Duke is early and berry not very large to me.

The Duke and Elliot combo cover your requests.

A mid season one with average size berries is Sunshine Blue.
Though Elliot has small berries, lovely sky blue color and is sweet…it never worked out for me…maybe would have if I had an irrigation system, I don’t know. Tiny small berries, overcrowded, and many crack…especially if it rains. My late berry is Aurora.

That is my impression for Duke too. Very crowded. Hard to pick. BlueRay and O’Neal have big berries for me.

I love BlueRay…but it’s drawback is the shrub itself isn’t pretty to look at.
Bluecrop is crowded and hard to pick…since you associated that with Duke.

I do not know about that. But I can tell that my BlueRay has large berries. It is not crowded. I need to cut off some old branches to renew some trunks. I do not get as many berries as before.

I used to have Polaris, Chippewa, Rubel and Bluecrop. They did not thrive and they are gone now.

I need to figure out how to propagate blueberry. Most say rooting cuttings is not easy…

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Also, I highly recommend to do wider spacing. I planted the originally ones at 4’ apart. Now they get crowded and hard to pick. Now I plant them at 5’ apart.

I decided to start a new thread, and not try to hijack this one:

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Over a decade ago I observed a nursery near Ocala Florida having blueberry cutting in flats just under a shade cloth…and it appeared not many failed based upon all the young plants in flats and not many empty cells.

But, ‘layering’ is the only method I’ve actually made another blueberry plant thus far.

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This Spring I transplanted 4 rabbiteye blueberry root suckers with some, but not a lot, of roots to a new area. All survived. The near daily rains that have created great conditions for all fungal diseases have really benefitted them.


Yes, mature blueberry plants also send suckers from the strong surface roots. I harvested several of them this spring. The more shallow you plant them, the more likely they will send out suckers. Those plants are about 10 years old.