Blackberries and Black Raspberries?

wgafaw(z7NC)June 10, 2007

When I first moved in here there were berry bushes growing wild in the back. I remember asking the landscaper if he thought they would be raspberries, black raspberries or blackberries. He said he didn't think they were even berries. Well of course he was wrong. In doing some research I found out that raspberries and black raspberries are very difficult to grow down here. I assumed then what I had was blackberries which I found out were prevelant here. The past couple of years I have been picking and eating them without looking at them much. This morning I was picking my first batch for this year and I noticed I must have 2 different varieties. One being long while the other was wider and squatter. Then I noticed the squatter one looked like it had powder on it the way some blueberries do while the longer one was shiny. Then when I picked the squatter one I noticed that it was hollow while the other one kept part of the stem which I think I read on here meant blackberry. They were both ripe and came right off the stalk. Also the Squatter ones leaves are more yellowish. So now I am thinking that maybe the squatter one is a black raspberry even though they aren't supposed to grow wild here or maybe it is some other type of berry that I don't know about. What do you think?


PS. I can provide pictures if you would like to see them.

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Provide pictures.

The hollow one is not a blackberry. It sounds like a black raspberry.

At my place the black raspberries have a reddish cast to the stems and are much less vigorous than the blackberries.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 11:54AM
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All right here are some pictures.

The one on the left is the one I think is a black raspberry.

This is what the inside of the one I think is a black raspberry.

And this is the inside of the other one.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 12:23PM
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You are correct that you have both blackberries and black raspberries, and your identification of each is also correct.

While it is possible that either or both of these berries is "wild" (i.e. native), it is far more likely they were planted by someone years ago. People have been living in North Carolina for a long time, and those look like cultivated berry varieties to me.

Blackberries do very well in the Southeast climate. They grow just fine here, and my climate is not so much different from yours. I don't know why anyone would say black raspberries are particularly difficult either, since they did well for me here when I had them, but they are subject to a number of viral and fungal diseases that can make them difficult to grow in certain locations. For whatever reason, the variety you have seems quite well adapted to your climate and location or they probably wouldn't have survived.

If you value these berries, and want to restore them to their full producing capabilities, you might try keeping the areas around the plants free of weeds, mulching the plants, and even fertilizing when that is necessary. I seem to have picked up the suggestion that your black raspberry leaves are yellowing, which could be due to low fertility or iron deficiency. You should also use the practice of cutting old canes down to the ground after they have produced, to allow the new canes room to grow in. If you particularly like the black raspberries, it is possible to start new plants by allowing the canes to arch down to the ground, then burying them so that they tiproot. If you can get rid of that leaf yellowing with some soil amendments (although this could also be a symptom of viral disease), you might be able to grow quite a few black raspberries.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 2:27PM
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When Don says "cutting old canes down to the ground after they have produced" he means only the canes that just had berries on them.

The green canes that came up from the ground this year won't have berries until next year and you won't cut those ones down until they bear fruit next year.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 7:23PM
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Thanks for confirming the identification. The reason I said that they were difficult to grow is that both the UNC and Duke horticultural sites say that in the Piedmont, unless you are near the mountains, it is difficult to grow the black raspberries because of the temps and diseases.

I don't know how much I can do to restore them as on my property the swath is 100ft by 20 ft on a very steep hill and then they continue for hundreds of feet in both directions beyond my property all infused with weeds and even some trees. I may try and take a little area and try and clean that out.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 4:59AM
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Any thoughts on what these are? We have tons of rasberries growing, some around these berry's too. We also have blackberries growing but they are still green and on the other side of the yard. My first thought was that they were a blackberry, but if you look at the stem, it has the stem/top of a rasberry but what looks to be the body of a blackberry. We just recently moved into this house and have been loving the rasberries but I am confused on this berry. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 3:05PM
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