Primocane blackberry Prime-Ark Freedom

lsohDecember 15, 2013

I stumbled across Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry today. It's a new thornless primocane fruiting blackberry. After searching, I was unable to find any info on hardiness zone.

Does anyone know the hardiness zone for Prime-Ark Freedom?
Does anyone know any place selling it for spring 2014?
Any other thoughts on this blackberry?

Thanks.

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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Too new. Can you actually get your hands on it...I see release dates of 2015. Intended for homeowners because it is of poor shipping quality. Looks like a winner.

You will be the beta tester which is not too risky in time, cost or effort. Based upon parentage I'd guess it is a fair bet it would fruit in Z4.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prime-Ark Freedom

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 2:15PM
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jtburton

Berries Unlimited will have it in June 14. Like Osage this year, you can get a small, tissue cultured plant at that time but you won't get any berries that late in the season. I would also be careful with the zones on the Prime Ark series plants because only the primocane crop will be suitable in zones lower than 6. You may also have to cut down the canes every year to ensure that you will have enough time to get the primocane crop ripe. If you let them overwinter, it will make the primocane crop later in the year and frost may get them before you can get many berries.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 4:15PM
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englishivy(75647)

You can obtain a list of nurseries that will have these by emailing jrclark@uark.edu

thanks,
englisivy
tx

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 5:23AM
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WSysock

Just got my 10 TC Prime-Ark Freedom plants from Nourse Farms and will be planting them in the next few days. They are not listed on the website. I had to call and order them back in October. Glad I did that. I am looking forward to see how these plants do in my zone 9 climate. The APF-77(Black Magic) had berries throughout the winter here in Orlando. I have been pretty much been picking berries since July. Although it's only a few here and there it is a pleasure to still see blossoms, green and ripe berries all the time. Hopefully I will be having the same experience with the new Prime-Ark Freedom plants. Thanks John Clark.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:02PM
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BKG1(8a)

I have 20 from Nourse Farms on the way. The delivery says week of March 9th. I also called back in Oct.
I have several other varities already and they are wonderful so I am looking forward to this new variety.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:17AM
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BKG1(8a)

Future home of the PA Freedom. You can't see it in the picture but there are couple open spots down the rows.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:42AM
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BKG1(8a)

Last year was amazing. I love Blackberries as you can see.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:44AM
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BKG1(8a)

Last one.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:45AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm looking forward to a modest crop this year. Adding three more, so have 12 , but some may have died over the winter, or still will. Still getting below zero lows...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:14AM
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jtburton

WSysock,

Are you growing Prime Ark45 too? If so, how does Black Magic compare to them? Flavor and production?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:14AM
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lsoh

BKG1,

Your photo shows an interesting trellis system. Or maybe 2 different trellis system.

In the row on the right, it looks like you are using metal fence posts in pairs with a wooden cross beam. Is that right? How is the cross beam attached to the fence posts?

In the row on the left, it looks like you are using a series of single posts with a cross bars mounted to single posts. What are those posts made of and how are the cross bars attached.

If indeed, they are two different trellis systems, which do you prefer.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:43AM
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BKG1(8a)

Isoh,

They are actually the same type trellis. The confusing part is probably the T posts. My first attempt was to use T posts and lighter guage wire but the wire would break and posts would lean. I did not bother to remove them when I built the new trellis.
A good friend of mine owns a fence company and he removed the metal posts from a fence and let me have them. I was tired of fighting the T posts so I went over board with the metal posts and concreted them in and used angle iron cross pieces with eye bolts. The angle iron attaches to the posts with the wood style cross brace made for these type posts. I drilled four holes in the angle iron and screwed them to the post. I made the angle iron cross members 32 inch. This way I could reach in from both sides to pick the berries. On each end of the cross members I put and eye bolt to run the wire through so it would not come out.
This is all very much over kill but I got 90% of the materials for free.
I will try to take a better picture of the "clothes line" style setup.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:55PM
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melikeeatplants

well you've made me jealous. awesome row of blackberries :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 6:41PM
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BKG1(8a)

Trellis

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:22AM
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BKG1(8a)

Next Pic

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:23AM
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BKG1(8a)

Last one.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:24AM
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WSysock

jtburton:

this past year was my first year growing Blackberries here in Orlando,FL.

Yes. I do have Prime-Ark 45. got them as TC and they grew nicely and only produced a few clusters of berries do to my late start getting into black berries. So I can not compare them at this time. The APF-77 or Black Magic I purchased was the WOW versions sold by a few companies online which are basically full grown plants. Because of this they started producing fruit on the primocane's around late August and are still producing now. Although only a few here and there. I just enjoy going out to the berry patch and still seeing the berries growing during our FL winter. Most of the plants have gone dormant and have buds. Just in the last week some buds have started opening up and flowering. The one observation that I noticed was the Aug/Sept fruit were smaller and they got progressively larger through our FL winter. I enjoy their flavor, but again, this is my first year. I did plant Nachez and triple crown. The triple crown did not grow as nicely as the Nachez and the Prime-Ark 45. The Black Magic grew the best being they were mature plants to begin with. The Prime-Ark Freedom TC plants have been in the ground for a few days now and are looking healthy so far. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:18AM
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lsoh

BKG1,

Thanks for the pictures.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:10PM
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jtburton

Thanks WSysock. You should be getting some berries on the bottom half of both Prime Ark 45 and Black Magic in a couple of months. I have Prime Ark 45's and they have been my most productive variety so far although my winter may have been too harsh for the overwintered canes to produce this summer.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:29PM
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vanman23(6b/7a - OK)

Just bought Prime-Ark Freedom from Norse. $52 for 10 plants. They were also being sold at Boston mountain nursery near Ft. Smith, AR. Their climate should not be a whole lot different than Tulsa. They required a $100 minimum order.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:06PM
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BKG1(8a)

How is everyone's freedoms doing? When I got mine they were so small. They seem to be doing all right. See pic.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:13PM
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lsoh

BKG1

When they are old enough to produce fruit, please let us know what you think of them.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 7:14AM
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tyler_j(6a)

I have 5 coming from Nourse Farms. I hope it does fine here in my 6a zone. Navaho and Triple Crown do fine so hoping this one is hardy enough too.

Looking forward to this one!

This post was edited by tyler_j on Sat, May 3, 14 at 18:35

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 5:50PM
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BKG1(8a)

Isoh,

I will. I don't expect too much this year since they were so small.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:19PM
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vanman23(6b/7a - OK)

Here is the first bloom on the Prime Ark Freedom. I've never grown blackberries but I thought the fruit on the primocanes were in the fall and the floricane in the spring? How long until harvest?

I plan to leave the canes to overwinter and then have a second crop on the floricanes. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 4:36PM
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c5tiger

My prime 45 started blooming about 2 weeks ago on one small cane I did not tip. The rest of the tipped canes will start shortly. The floricanes are at their peak right now and started about a month ago. The primocanes will ripen mid August here and go till frost.

Yours are on schedule.

Leave the primocanes and you will have two crops next year with surprisingly little gap between the two. With Natchez, Navaho and triple crown to fill the gap I have blackberries from May till end of Oct.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:55PM
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vanman23(6b/7a - OK)

Whats the reasoning on tipping the canes?

Two of my Prime Arks are in pots, do think they will continue to fruit when brought indoors given temps of about 60-70 and CFLs?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:24PM
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c5tiger

This was pulled from blackberry pruning pdf

Summer tipping of primocane-fruiting blackberries (prior to flower bud formation when canes are about 3 feet tall) has been found to increase yield by as much a three-fold. However, it also delays harvest slightly.

I also tip at 3 feet to keep my canes from growing too tall and falling over.

This is your first year so your plant is small, next year it will put out much larger canes that can grow quite tall. You may tip some next year and see how tipped vs nontipped grow in your area.

I don't know anything about indoor growing, but give it a try. I will say that as the weather starts to cool off the berries fail to get as sweet and are not very good. You may have this problem indoors.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:49PM
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vanman23(6b/7a - OK)

Thanks. I'll just leave them alone this year and tip some next year.

I hear those FL guys getting berries all winter so it will be interesting how they will do this winter inside. I have some tropical fruit trees that need to come inside and need light anyway.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:43AM
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c5tiger

I am no expert but I would think they need a certain amount of chill hours. Without a dormant period I am not sure the plant would know when to start growing new primocanes. You may have to put them out towards the end of winter to let them go dormant for a while.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:01AM
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schiba(5b)

Any updates on Prime-Ark, their taste and their growth?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:03PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Would you expect this cultivar to perform well in zone 7a in Maryland? Howard County, north of DC and west of Baltimore.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 7:54AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I don't have this cultivar, but yes, i would think it would do fine in that zone. it can even be grown in my zone.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 8:20AM
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