Blackberry cuttings

philly_gardenerJuly 27, 2009

Hi,

Strong winds broke a branch on my blackberry last week. I used a pair of scissors to cut off about 8 inch long from the top and put it in a glass vase. It is on a north-facing window sill. It still green today. Will it grow root this way?

Thank you very much!

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jellyman(6/7VA)

Philly:

No it won't. Propagate your blackberry by root suckers.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 5:47PM
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philly_gardener

Thank you Don.

I just searched for an image of blackberry root sucker on the internet but did not find it. I will keep looking out for root sucker from my blackberry plant. If I see anything that may look like a root sucker I will ask again.

If there is a root sucker; do I dig it out? Will the digging hurt the mother plant?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 7:33PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Philly-
Probably the easiest thing to do here is Google "blackberry propagation".

In the future, when I'll want to propagate some of my blackberries, I will use the "Tip Layering" technique. The link below had a nice description with pics of the simple process.

Good luck,
-Glenn

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating blackberries

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:06PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Hi, I agree with glenn, but you can try it & let us know how it comes out. Some berry canes tip layering with out your help. I got 7 thronless blkberries & 40 red raspberries the only thing I did was NOT to tie the canes up. My patch looks wild, but I will move them in to rows this fall. It took more than 4 years to get 40 plants.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:22PM
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ardonna(7+)

Hmmm. jolj, did you use layering for raspberries too?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:30PM
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philly_gardener

Glenn and jolj,

Thank you both for your advice. I wish I saw those pictures earlier.

There are only three new canes grow up on my blackberry plant this summer. And last week, I cut off the tips from the end of the cane to encourage lateral growth, following advice from this forum.

Now, with their tips already cut, can I still try "tip layering"?

The variety I have is supposed to be an upright variety. But it is not upright at all. All the canes grow at an angle less than 45 degrees.

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 2:35PM
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larry_gene

There is quite a variation in upright and trailing growth habits, don't be concerned unless the fruit and other traits don't match.

Your laterals will tip layer just fine. Let one or more drag on the ground and when growth stops, fix it in place on dirt and put a little compost or soil over the tip. Some moisture is helpful if the soil remains dry in autumn, but winter rains should help complete the rooting process.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 1:15AM
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roflol(Z6 MO)

Howdy... this year was our second with an unnamed upright thornless blackberry bush from Lowe's, and it produced a nice crop (thanks to netting, we got to keep most of it and the birds only got a little - last year they got it all!). Next year I hope for even more.

I suspect I'm seeing suckers out there but as mentioned above it's a little difficult to find images that would corroborate just what I think I'm seeing - canes coming up some distance from the original plant.

They are also growing in what I consider the "wrong" direction - toward shade and a compost bin, whereas I'd like the blackberry patch to go along the fence in the other direction and stay in the sunshine.

Where do I find a description of what a blackberry root sucker is or an image of one, and if these are suckers I have when should I move them and how?

Terri

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 12:13AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Root suckers is way that plant spreads above ground plants another way is by self tip layering in late fall. Link below will explain when scrollup and come bottom page you see back forward this take you to next web page if click contents it take to main page or home. you tip layer only primocanes which ben over bury tips wait several months then cut then cut from from main cane. You can't tip layer a floricane. This link only 34 web pages the orignal was 92 web pages long it was said to long and cut down to 34 it was big mistake.

Here is a link that might be useful: Put this link in your favorities

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 9:21AM
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tcstoehr

I'm trying the layering technique but after a month I checked and no roots yet. However, I think I may have done it wrong.
Do you have to bury the actual tip?
I buried a piece of the stem several inches from the tip, secured it down, and left the tip to grow in the sun. Do I need to bury the tip?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:06PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Yes bury the tip of brambles you did right for grapes.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 2:59PM
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larry_gene

tcstoehr: Yes, using the actual tip will be more successful. You are trying to do this way too early in the year. The tip ends of canes or laterals will not want to root naturally until their lengthwise growth has ceased, usually in October in Portland. They may not be long enough yet to be touching the ground, mine aren't. All you have to do is let the tips laying on the ground root naturally in their own time. It helps if the tip is maneuvered onto soil, in a spot where you want it to grow permanently, although they are easy to dig up next year and move. I have rooted tips directly in one-gallon pots. As you can imagine, more lengthwise growth at this point would keep knocking the pot over!

There is no advantage to trying to get a head start rooting them in the summer; they are not saleable or usable until they send up new protocanes next April/May. In May/June, after a couple of feet of new growth, sever the old cane and move your new plant if necessary.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:58PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Labor day is good time to look for right conditions to tip layer. Cooler conditions and soil moisture are good time tip layer leaving cane attach in summertime they burn off at ground. Look for that large rain and cool front 3 days later do tip layering. Put tip down in soil 3 inches deap use small stake I like one thats about 3/8 inch rod tie to cane so hold in wind and if there more growth on cane.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:45AM
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larry_gene

Good info by gator, give it Labor Day plus another month yet for Portland.

I have never buried the tips, just lightly covered them with compost or leaves and let nature do the rest.

The cane tips will start looking a bit deformed when rooting time is near; they become stubby and look like they are developing little claws.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 1:20AM
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roflol(Z6 MO)

I checked the link by gator but found it a little confusing (this is not hard to do, really). Other than seeing mention that suckers are inferior to transplants, I didn't find information regarding how to identify a sucker (there was something about an inverted T-shape, but I think that was what to expect if one is sent to you), or how/when to move one. Perhaps I just missed it?

:]

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 12:12PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Sucker pop up from roots running under ground. If you buy plant that has been tip rooted the buds on plant handle be upside down because grew from tip cane. All nursery stock are grown mostly from root cutting bareroot this where you may find upside down T shape. If want multiply plants its best dig one up and cut some root cutting then plant plant dug plant back you lose year on this plant but could get upto 20 root cutting to plant 2 to 3 inches down in soil in spring that not call sucker because hold root not in soil. You have enuff info to start nursery.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 4:07PM
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roflol(Z6 MO)

I'll be really honest with you gator. :] I don't understand completely what you are trying to say. I know *you* know what you're doing and saying. I just don't understand what you're trying to convey yet. I type for doctors who speak English as a second language and this happens sometimes... not sure if this is our situation or not, but either way I apologize for being slow.

At any rate, I am not interested in a huge blackberry plantation. I don't really want to do cuttings right now, but I appreciate your info and will remember it should I ever want to do cuttings.

I posted here because the original poster also asked about identifying suckers (in the third post from the top). I too want to identify the suckers (if any) on my one plant and move them when it's best to do so.

I'm going to have to presume that what I see are suckers, move them, and see what I get. So do I simply dig one up (severing it from the parent plant in the process) and move it?

And should this be done after dormancy, or some other time, or does it even matter?

Thanks in advance. :]

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 10:17PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Roflol,

Gator is saying root cuttings are the easiest way to propagate blackberries. Typically this is the way they are propagated in a nursery. As mother plants are dug up, they are root pruned. The root prunings are spread in a furrow and covered with dirt. Many new plants will emerge from the root prunings.

Tip rooting is another method very easy for home growers. Simply bury the end of a new vegetative shoot (primocane) and the new shoot will start to form roots. By the end of summer the rooting will be complete.

Wait till fall to dig up the new tip rooted plants, and move them wherever you want.

Blackberries tip root so easily, most of the time, they don't even have to be covered with dirt. Think of them like strawberry runners, they tip root that easily.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 10:57PM
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larry_gene

The random new "suckers" that come up from roots some distance from the main canes are not very well connected to the root and can be difficult to dig up without having them break off from the root. Determine how deep the root is some distance from the sucker and dig accordingly, keeping a lot of soil around the root/sucker while attempting the move.

Suckers that have grown for months or over-wintered may have formed a root system of their own and could be easier to move.

Tip rooting requires more waiting, but is far more forgiving when digging and moving.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:36AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I'm going to have to presume that what I see are suckers, move them, and see what I get. So do I simply dig one up (severing it from the parent plant in the process) and move it?
yes in zone 6 do this in spring after freezing temps have passed. Don't forget to take as many roots as can with a 6 inches long piece mother plant root.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:37AM
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roflol(Z6 MO)

:] Thank you all very much. The clarification of instructions and timing was very helpful, and I think I "got it" now. Thanks again for your help.

Terri ;]

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:14AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

That tip layering looks easy. Good article. My Triple Crown Blackberries & Wineberry Raspberries are growing out of control, so I may try this & then give away the new plants that are formed at my local plant swap. =)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:50PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

I like Olpea's quote: "Think of them like strawberry runners, they tip root that easily". Although I haven't tried it, I've always known how it was done... but I never knew how easy the tip-rooting happened. That clarified it for me. Now, I just need to wait until I have a variety worth doing it to... The Chester's probably aren't worth it. I'm waiting for my new Triple Crowns to get big enough for me to try it. Thanks Olpea as always!
-Glenn

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:17PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

My Triple Crowns are insane. If I stretched them out straight, at least 2 of the three would probably be over 10 feet long....makes me wonder how long they'll be when they start setting berries next year or when ever.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:47PM
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larry_gene

tn, I don't know if your 10 feet is protocanes or laterals on the canes, but they will eventually stop gaining length this autumn.

In Portland, my triple-crown laterals usually get over 20 feet long. When I do my final autumn pruning and cane-tying, I probably discard 200 feet of laterals. That is a lot of potential fruit, but enough is enough!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:09PM
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tcstoehr

I've been wondering about the laterals on my Triple Crown Blackberries. In early July, when I cut the main growing tip at 7 feet, strong laterals appeared at the top and sometimes at the bottom. In between, there's practically nothing. Just little shoots that look like they're just waiting for next year. I though maybe it's like fruit trees, ya know, where the growing tips send down auxin to inhibit growth shoots lower down. So I tried snipping the top off a couple more times. Each time, it's still the top that shoots out, not lower down. They're only two years old, and were transplanted last Fall. Maybe it will be different when they're older and better established next year.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 2:08PM
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larry_gene

My experience with the TCs is that laterals tend to sprout up fairly high, before the initial pruning-topping. I have been meaning to try pruning a couple of protocanes much shorter and earlier in the season. The little shoots eventually dry out and do nothing. When you re-pruned your main canes shorter, was it one of the little do-nothing shoots that then became a lateral?

Lateral behavior can vary a lot. I had one main cane that looked like a Christmas tree.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 12:31AM
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tcstoehr

Larry, the shoots immediately below the cut sprouted like weeds. Some laterals sprouted before the topping but these were way down at the bottom. This behavior reminds me of a fruit tree. Branching occurs well below the leader. When you head back a branch tip, it sprouts several branches right behind the cut. I have to assume the driving force is the same, auxin produced at the growth tips.

When I "re-pruned" it was to remove the vigorous lateral at the top which I thought might be discouraging laterals from forming down below.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 1:22PM
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