Blackberries - died after 2nd winter?

lilgreenieMay 5, 2014

Hi all,
These are my first blackberry bushes so I'm pretty new with growing them. I think I planted them (I don't know what kind) about 3 (or 4?) years ago, and they have gone through 2 (or 3?) winters. They did fine the last winter and in the spring-summer grew huge, with lots of nice big fruit and propagated themselves all over the area. Now this winter has passed and while my raspberries are starting to shoot out new growth, the blackberries look very dead except for a little new growth at the base. The vines/branches look dried out, brown, and dead. Is this typical? Do most people have to prune and start from scratch after a few winters? I live in Iowa, by the way.

Thanks for reading this and any suggestions you may have!

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If your winter was anything like mine (coldest in the last 30-40 years) then it wasn't a typical winter as far as low temps go. I also have a lot of dead vines also... Navaho, Triple Crown, Chester and Doyle that have never had problems in the last 4 years since planting but they did this year. My hardy kiwis proved not so hardy for the first time in 7 years too with a lot of die back.

We just had too many sustained nights of very cold weather this year.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Have you pruned your blackberries at ll since you planted them? The older canes should be dead. I'm just starting to see leaf buds on my Triple Crown (covered with burlap over the winter). The raspberries (that weren't covered since they're more cold-hardy) are leafing out nicely just the past few days.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:16PM
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