This spring, I bought a Black Diamond thornless blackberry, a Youngberry, and an Ohio Treasure black raspberry from Hirt’s Gardens. They arrived in fine shape, but the tags were shaken loose from the pots in transit. I relabeled them as best I could, but I now notice that both blackberries are thornless. Isn’t Youngberry supposed to be thorny? It wasn’t advertised as thornless.
My Youngberries have thorns similar to a raspberry. I think the problem you have is you have 2 black diamond and either a Youngberry or a black raspberry. I got my youngberries from Simmons.Plant farm.
The original Youngberry has thorns. There is also a thornless hybrid but the taste is a bit off, as noted by several writers; e.g. Facciola in Cornucopia II. Further there is a root hormone for Rubus (includes Youngberry) that suppresses thorns for a few years. Afterwards new canes from the roots will have thorns. Some sellers have these treated plants and sell them as “permanent” thornless.
Black Diamond for me has been a dwarf of sorts. The internodes are short and the canes not over 10ft. It’s trailing not erect or semi erect. I’m not familiar with Youngberry so don’t know how it might differ.
Black Diamond is quite prickly for the first foot of cane, then smooths out. Second year (next year’s) growth will be more revealing, except for the black raspberry–it should be obvious now.
Yes that’s what I’ve seen as well.
How does Black Diamond rate for you on eating quality? What are your favorites?
Wow, a hormone suppressing thorns, really? Do you have more information on that?
Yes, for brambles in the Genus Rubus. I’ve known growers to use them but I don’t know the formulation(s).
The eating quality of Black Diamond is very good–has a good sweet-tart balance and complex notes. It may be that this variety needs more regular fertilizer; I have been getting a lot of small berries. This variety also does not compete well among the more vigorous Triple Crown–should be given its own row.
Obsidian has excellent flavor, and the successive year’s growths from first planting seems to have eliminated the deformed and intermittent leaves.
But the real eventual winner will be Columbia Star judging from the samples I had at Caneberry Field Day last June–and zero solar damage. I just planted one tip-root and six tissue culture plants of these the other day.
That’s sweet, those are the three varieties along with Columbia Giant that I have now. I do like Obsidian, nice big berries. The yield is low compared to the others but it is first to ripen. This was my first crop of C. Giant. The berries are big.
I think Black Diamond sets too many berries. Next yr I’m pushing them with nitrogen and water in early spring to increase foliage and I’ll probably cut off every other cluster. I want to see how they taste when they aren’t overset. In fact I’m pushing it now to increase foliage. I think some of the foliage will carry over to next yr.
You can tell a lot about potential flavor by the aroma of massed berries (say several dozen in a container). Black Diamond had the best/strongest aroma of all my varieties.
My Black Diamond would not produce the first 2 years with canes dying on me. It is not really hardy here. This year it is producing. The only protection last winter was Wilt Stop. I got tired of burying in leaves. All blackberries survived. It was a mild winter, so that could be it too. Although mild here means it only dipped to -5F once. Columbia Star to me tasted bad the first year, the 2nd year they were a lot better. I liked them. See how they do this year. New Berry is hardier than all of these and is flowering like mad. To me this one is a winner, but it is thorny.
I don’t have Obsidian. If I find a place I may try it. I’m fairly happy though with what I have. I still have frozen blackberries from last year. We have been making smoothies all winter. I remove the seeds. The smoothies were excellent even with lesser tasting berries, extremely good and very satisfying. I don’t see a need to add more.
As mentioned elsewhere Tayberries, and Lochness are winners here too. Not to mention boysenberries, and wyeberries. I like wyeberries better, they are bigger. They taste about the same. Marionberry is great but very late and not vigorous at all. Yields are low. I’m still keeping it. Siskiyou I have not tasted yet. And birds put all kinds of plants all over my yard. I may keep a few to see what I got. One was thornless, but died over the winter.
My yellow cap raspberry which is a yellow black raspberry is OK, not great, What is great about it is size of the berry, The biggest raspberries (black) I have. Well some fruits seeded and the genetic remix produced some blacks, I have high expectations for them.