Triple crown blackberry has almost stopped bearing

yeshwant91(Z7a NYC)August 22, 2012

I planted a triple crown about three years ago. The second year after planting I put away 10 jars of jam, the next year 1 and this year there are not even enough berries to fill a bowl (there were fewer blossoms as well). The plant has some leaves that look sort of burnt and frilly / crenellated, but otherwise the plant looks fine. Is this a virus? Is it not getting enought light/ nutrients (I compost it every spring). I can't be certain, but the plants were from a reputable mail order nursery in the North West and were labeled virus free.

What do I do now? I really enjoyed the berries the couple of years the plant bore them.

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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Yesh,
Post a pic so we can see. Are there native brambles around?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:40PM
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yeshwant91(Z7a NYC)

Will do, when I get home. There is a red currant bush, a gooseberry bush in the vicinity but these are all nursery plants. Nothing else around that bears berries.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:44PM
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larry_gene

Yes, post a picture. Crenellated is an excellent word, but a normal triple crown leaf would not look that way.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:00AM
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waiting_gw

Um, have you been pruning it each year?

gary

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:28AM
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yeshwant91(Z7a NYC)

Here is a pic. There are very few leaves that are affected, though.
Yes, I prune the old floricanes generally in the late winter and tip the primocanes as they grow taller than 6-7 ft.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:29AM
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yeshwant91(Z7a NYC)

Here is a pic of the crenellated leaf. Believe me, it looks different from others. More like a new leaf, shiny and well, crenellated, but this leaf is ful grown. The leaves adjacent to it are also tinier that the regular leaves.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:33AM
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larry_gene

Leafhoppers can cause leaf distortions and stunting like that. They would all be adult phase by now and have flown off, but the immature nymphs do the leaf-sucking and tend to congregate around a few leaves and new growth.

These berries must be near grapes, I can see tendrils, how close to the berry canes are the grapevines?

Don't know about the few browned leaves, this should not be related to low berry production.

How did this year's total length and thickness of canes and laterals, and bloom count compare to previous years?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:41PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

My Triple Crown have succumbed to disease after about 4 years and will need to be pulled out. I wonder if this is just coincidence or rather a problem others are having with this variety. They were great when they were healthy.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:12PM
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yeshwant91(Z7a NYC)

Larry_gene, thanks!! The bush looks about the same as last year, maybe a bit less vigorous, with very few stunted laterals and canes. The blooms were far fewer though.
You have a good eye. There is a concord grape vine next door, but the tendrils you see belong to the native passionflower vine (Maypop) that sprung up there. It's not too big and usually shows up later than the blackberry starts growing/ leafing, so may not be related.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:08AM
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yeshwant91(Z7a NYC)

anybody have any thoughts? i'm pretty desperate. :-(

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 6:48PM
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