West Coast Blackberries

Do the West Coast varieties of blackberries (sunrise, giant, etc.) do well on the east coast?

I wouldnt say that they do well… but you can grow them.

You kinda have to treat them like grapes, they produce canes from the crown… and they can get 20 foot long so you have to trellis them pretty well.

They are the least cold tolerant- damage can occur in the 20F range.

Doable if you are able to meet its needs.

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Are marionberries similar in that sense? I wanna try at least Columbia giant just for the wow factor of the berries.

If you are doing wow…may as well plant a BIG DADDY.

big daddy

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That’s a big berry!

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You have more severe winters and
more fungus pressure in the summer than the West Coast.
Our winters are pretty mild.

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Some of the west coast berries are more cold hardy than others…

I have been considering Obsidian… for its earlyness berry size flavor vigor etc… and reports I have read say it is more cold hardy than marion and others.

My PC is down now… power out still… if you goog oregon blackberries… you can find some good info. Below is one…

Blackberry Cultivars for Oregon | OSU Extension Catalog | Oregon State University.

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Hope your power comes back on soon Thanks for the link.

Note that Obsidian is very spiny (at least as spiny as Boysen). Canes are delicate and require careful handling when training. Fruit is very good. I do not fertilize regularly; perhaps that would help for this variety.

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I think that Siskiyou is considered one of the most hardy and I’ve grown it for 3 years and it has survived just fine. But I put it in a bad spot and ignored it mostly, partly because it is such a spiny sprawling beast that I don’t want to encourage it. The few I got were very tasty, but blackberries mostly disappear into the stomachs of birds and varmints.

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I will grow more than enough for the birds and myself!

@757Will — If you search youtube on “EMCO CAL” some of the West Coast Blackberries… like Columbia Giant are shown…

I get blackberry lust every time I watch that one… what a blackberry.

I need one of those… but not sure how it would do here.

If you look around via google you can find some journals out there with details… including winter injury details…

Over 3 years (2013–15), ‘Black Diamond’ had the least winter injury, ‘Marion’ the most, and ‘Columbia Giant’ was intermediate. All three cultivars were injured by an unusually early, very cold freeze event in Dec. 2013, when the temperature was −13.3 to −12.7 °C over two nights, and as with the overall mean scores, ‘Marion’ was noted for the most injury and ‘Black Diamond’ the least in Spring 2014 (Table 7).

-13 C = 8.6 F.

Last year here in Zone 7a TN, my low was 8 degrees F.

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I found these details on the very early ripening blackberry Obsidian in a journal…


Sounds like Obsidian may be a little better than Marion at dealing with cold but -11.3 C is the coldest temp mentioned in that journal… which is 11.66 F.

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Yeah that’s a blackberry that gets my attention! Is cold hardiness the only thing to worry about? It doesn’t normally break 20 degrees here, but temperatures in the teens are seen occasionally.

Since we are on topic- Chad Finn (creator of Triple Crown, and alot of the west coast blackberries)… worked on 3 others right before he died.

Eclipse, Galaxy and Twilight.


Mr. Finn did some trial tests and reported on the western suitability of Triple Crown, but the variety was developed back east.

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Any idea where to get ‘Twilight’ in the US?

I like to sleep in so I get my 'Twilight" fix after the sun goes down

Get my first berries on all three varieties this year. So far Eclipse and Galaxy are growing the best.

I believe the fruit ripens a week to 10 days after Navaho or Von which is about when the SWD get going well in my area (about mid August)

I’m hoping the genes from the PNW give them a special flavor even if they are late.

Galaxy is Triple Crown that fruits Early. I just got my plants in this week…but i read some deep reports from Chad Finn and he hints that it is indeed an early fruiting TC.

For our zone 6B/7 Siskiyou is what we want. (cant buy it anywhere). It is good to Z6 and maybe a lil colder. Massive berries. In its parentage is Logan, Marion, Boysen and a few others. I hope to get some plants in the Fall but like other USDA releases from the West Coast i have to backchannel to get them.