Double Tipping Darrow Blackberry?

cablestarman(NE OH 6a)June 4, 2014

I planted a few Darrow Blackberries a 4 years back, barely produced any berries, except 2 years back - but they were small and crumbly. So, last winter I cut them entirely down to the ground and this year I have been soft-tipping at 39 inches. My question is, what is meant by double-tipping? Do I tip the laterals also and at what length?

Thanks,
Dave

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jtburton

Generally I wait until late winter (early March) to prune any of the laterals. The link below offers the same advice.

As for double-tipping, I'm not certain but I do know from have several varieties of erect blackberries that even though you summer tip them by removing the central leader, the cane can still continue to grow upwards. If you have a trellis or some type of support, then it probably doesn't matter. The one risk I have found with erect blackberries that get too tall is that they are prone to wind damage if they are not secured to something (e.g. wire, post, etc.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Blackberries (Darrow)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 10:54PM
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larry_gene

I glanced at the subject matter online and the double-tipping (tip main cane at waist high or even lower, then tip laterals at 18") seems to be a method of delaying bloom and fruiting in hot climates to prevent fruit damage. Applies to primocane-bearing varieties.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 10:55PM
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cablestarman(NE OH 6a)

Wow, messed that one up, thought Darrow was a primocane-bearing blackberry. Since I mowed the whole thing down last winter, how do I get it back to "normal"? I have 5 plants total and I know there are more than 5 canes per plant.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:07AM
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jtburton

Tip the current canes this summer and then prune back the laterals (side branching canes) late next winter. You probably won't have fruit this year but since you skipped fruiting this season you should have a larger harvest next year since all of the plants energy went into vegetative growth this year. Some blackberry production in the Western states is performed that way. It's called AY or alternate year production.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:21AM
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