Triple Crown Blackberry Problem

harlan(S/Cen Tx)April 10, 2008

I planted three Triple Crown blackberry plants two years ago. First year they had very little growth as they were planted late but did have a few berries. I wound the canes on a trellis last year and so far they have not leafed out nor have they bloomed. What is the problem?

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My Triple Crown here in middle Georgia started leafing out just in the last couple of days, so give your vines a little bit longer. My thornless blackberries (I also have Apache and Arapaho) don't start blooming until the end of April into the first part of May. You can also give the vines the scratch test. Just give a little scratch on one of the vines to see if the cambium layer under the 'bark' is still green. Green is good and brown is bad. Good luck.

Russell Ayres

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 3:20PM
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I am in Houston, Tx and grew triple crown for three years and the plants never fruited or flowered. They grew like crazy and were very healthy, but no fruit. I subsequently pulled them up. Have heard they need a much higher chill than we receive. I live on north side and get @500-600 hrs, but evidently that was not enough. I tasted the fruit in a nursery and it is my favorite. Much prefer it to the Arkansas varieties that I now grow. Currently growing chickasaw, arapaho, and ouachita. You may have gotten fruit the first year due to the chill hours received in the growing nursery.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 5:06PM
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I'm a little surprised you're not getting any leaves should be getting leaves even if you aren't getting flowers by now. However, what kindwood says about chill hours is correct, and you might not get quite enough for Triple Crown to produce reliably, as it needs more in the 800-1000 hour range.

I do wonder what you mean, though, by "wound" the canes on a trellis. Did you actually try to bed the canes? Triple Crown, while not totally erect, does have pretty stout, thick canes, and if you tried to bend them, you might have done some pretty severe damage to them.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 5:34PM
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harlan(S/Cen Tx)

Thanks for replies. We have not had 800 chilling hours here.(Just north of San Antonio). I built a trellis, stringing wire between three posts, and carefully helped the canes unto the wires. Didn't break them, and they are very healthy looking.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 6:36PM
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I don't know if will be as true further east of us as your soil is a little different, but I grew up with blackberries and grow/have grown several varieties. The only rule of thumb I can tell you for SURE is that if it doesn't have thorns, you're more than likely wasting your time in Texas. The thorny varieties are that much more productive here.

The best performing black berries for the gulf-coast/Houston Area are Kiowa, Brazos, and Roseborough. The latter two are basically the same plant, Brazos is more tart (better for pies/preserves) and Roseborough is more sweet. Kiowa is a relative new-comer, but WOW! I get huge canes and tons of berries the size of Ping-Pong balls excellent flavor all around.

Check out Urban Harvest and see if they can refer you to an expert in your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Harvest

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 1:23PM
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Hello, I purchased a blackberry bush for my father around 5 years ago and he has a similar problem to start with, it didn't produce or bloom. My aunt suggested he use an acidic fertilizer, once he did this he got tonnes of blooms and berries. You can use aluminum sulfate (which you should read the box and be careful with) or a rhododendoron fertilizer. I hope this helps...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 4:41PM
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I found your website yesterday and read through it all.
I am having problems with the triple crown
Three years ago planted triple crown. Last summer I lost three of them. They were looking good and then just wilted and died.

I did not pay too much attention since I have Arapaho - Ohhhh what a great berry - let me sing it's praises. Wait
back on track.

This year the triple crowns that remained looked great Lots of berries and then now that the berries are just about to get ripe - it don't look right! There are very - very few leaves- I can't imagine these berries will continue to be plump up and make nice berries.

The new growth is good though.

But if this is how it is going to act I am thinking of either digging it up and throwing away the three I have. Or maybe I will dig them up this fall and put them far away from me like down in the lower field, and let nature takes it course.

What is wrong do you think?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Is the Triple Crown thornless blackberry plant grown on grafted roots? I have some plants that seem to have grown in the garden from seeds from the fruit the birds have dropped while feeding on the blackberry patch I planted. Will these seedlings produce berries likes the original or will they be some kind of wild cross that I should pull up?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 9:33PM
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No blackberries are grafted that I know of. TC and any other will clone true from tip rooting or division. However, bird-planted seeds will not be true to type--they will even possibly be thorny. That's what happens with my thornless boysenberries.

Sometimes I think the nuisance of fruit lost to birds is less than that of the nuisance of the "wild" berries they sow. If you don't get them completely out with all the roots they are very difficult to eliminate.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 11:26PM
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steve: Thanks for the advice... I will PULL OUT any growing from seed in the garden then! (& boy! do they have strong roots already!). Guess the seeds will not grow true either? A friend wants some so I am layering a cane in the ground to try & get one started for the neighbor.

When cutting to the ground the canes that have produced fruit this year, will that cane then come up again to produce another year? Once the fruit is gone, how do you determine later which cane had the berries on? I guess I can cut the cane right away.. but there are other clusters forming berries on the same cane. Later how do you tell which cane produced this year .. are there tell-tale signs on the cane later on during the year? I did notice that some of the canes I tied up on wires didn't produce any berries this year so I now realize they must have been the fruiting ones last year & I need not even attempt to leave those canes & tie them up after bearing... cut them to the ground !! I am so uninformed about growing the Triple Crown or even raspberry varieties that only produce on current years new canes so appologize for the maybe strange ?'s! Oh, the TC berries are SO good! Someone mentioned not picking the new glossy black berries... if you wait a day or so they will get a little dull/less glossy looking & that is when they are the sweetest? It seems to be true... IF the birds will wait that long!!

As vigorous as this one labeled cane that came as a 'freebie' with an order some years ago has spread from the roots, I can see how it could take over a whole area in no time!

We are zone 7 & get freezing temps. most every winters but dry,hot summers at mile high altitude & many grapes (mostly for wine making) & raspberries grown in the area.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:47AM
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Blackberry seedlings are best pulled when a few inches high--they look exactly like miniature versions of the mature plants.

You lost me with all the cane talk. If read literally, sounds like you cut down next year's fruiting canes, the ones that had no fruit this year. Or was there three year's worth of canes in the patch, the fruiting canes from last year having never been pruned out?

The canes to cut down after harvest are very obvious: The ones with fruiting stems left over from where the berries were picked. Just trace those laterals back to the main cane or the main cane back to the ground. Once pruned below the first leaf node, it will not grow back.

Might be too early in the season to get a layered cane to root; this is best done by waiting for growth to stop in late season and pin or weight just the cane tip to soil. At this time the cane tips stop producing leaves and grow little rootlets, almost claw-like.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I am sorry I am so confusing!! I guess I never really understood the pruning process: I thought once the fruiting cane was cut off to the ground, the part below where the cane was cut off would come back up the next year new from the ground & bear again... I now think (!) I understand that once that bearing cane was cut off at the ground it would not re-grow again but new fruit bearing shoots would come up from the main roots again? What happens in the wild then to the canes that have already bore fruit ... do they eventually die? I can see the now barren canes from ? last year do look different.. tougher, thicker, more yellow... CUT them to the ground?!

One nursery said 'the blackberry was not grafted so the seed that grows should grow the same as the parent planted' ... that is not true is it? Yes, I try to pull those look-alike blackberry seedlings right away... they put down sizable roots quickly! I have had some success in layering the blackberry & figs for others who want them.

Thanks everyone for your patience!!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Pruning out the post-harvest canes has nothing to do with the newer canes that will fruit next year and that already sprouted and grew this spring and summer, right along with your fruiting canes.

Yes, the older wild canes eventually die.

Don't cut any cane that has no evidence of having fruited.

Your seeds will grow fine blackberry plants, but they may be thorny, wimpy, and have smaller and less flavorful fruit.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:49AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

The plants that pop up around my plants are root sprouts from original plants and same cultivar as main plant when dig one up look for root plant sprouted from blackberries send out long shallow roots in soft ground. Root from main plant be larger than exploding new roots less 12 foot from main plant be baby plant from main plant if don't want them mow off several times they stop growth. A new has to come from cross pollination blackberries are self pollination seed be same as mother plant and infertile to germinate.
A Triple Crown,needs to be in 7B to even set small fruit set they work best in zone 6B, 7A South 7B almost no fruit.
On any blackberry plant in South they need to be very vegetative before winter good growth well into October the 20th good date.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Thank you larry gene .. .& everyone; think I just may understand it now!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:48PM
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I've had my triple crown for 2 years but no fruit. I bought my plant from home depot in a 6 inch pot. Seems like it would have fruited by now...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Odd that there are flowers but no fruit sets? Come answer this earlier posters?!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:47AM
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This is probably a long shot but some of my cane that have been infested with borers died or leafed out slowly. Just a long shot. Check for swollen areas of the cane about 1' from soil line.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:18PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

laccanvas don't want ask but still in 6 inch pot, blackberry plants need to be in ground in full sun then flower set fruit..

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 4:00PM
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I planted 12 triple crown blackberry bushes last spring. They are unbelievable
They are blackberries on steroids! We up a wire fence for them this spring. Started getting getting berries about mid July. A couple of the bushes were still blooming last week and I was getting berries off them too. The berries have been really large and sweet. Very happy with the Triple Crown Blackberry.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:18PM
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I have been picking a bowl of the Triple Crown Blackberries almost every day now & canes still loaded with the red young ones. I do let the berries turn shiny black & then wait a couple days tiIl the black dulls a bit & as one poster suggested, they are sweeter then. The berries are huge! I must say the problem is keeping the canes from coming up all over the garden & cutting/pulling them up where they don't belong. Also, they must also grow from seed that birds must drop as I have 'babies' coming up all over too... guess they wouldn't grow true to the parent though, coming from seed? I yank these up & toss them, I dig the canes that have come up from the parent & give away to others. Am ashamed, as I still do not have this years fruiting canes & next years cane to fruit quite separated yet as to which is what?!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:02PM
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