[NAFEX] Maine Blackberries

del stubbs pinewoodel at hotmail.com
Wed May 26 10:01:13 EDT 2004

I did several types of winter prep on these:
1. threw fencing over to weight down the vines and hope for snow cover, saw 
limited breakage, but was quickest way to get them down close to ground
2. do nothing...we had 18" of snow cover so the 40F below wasnt a full 
trial...this is the vine the voles missed - which is budding out
3. 'broke over' vines mid summer to get them low to ground, some broke part 
way but seemed to heal, some potential for this, but it means not having 
vines trellised and is labor intensive.
4. weighted down with field fencing and covered with old carpet, voles got 
these too.

So far I am very hopeful about these, not just for the winter hardiness, but 
for the early fruiting...... Illini,  Chester and Triple Crown - when I got 
vines to survive - lost most fruit to sept. frosts.
Is there something I could spray vines with that would be unpalatable to 
voles over winter?

Del, Z 2/3  solid frost last night

>From: John Bunker <jbunker at gwi.net>
>Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Maine Blackberries
>Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 07:25:31 -0400
>Del, Tom and others,
>The blackberries that we sent you were propagated by tissue culture.  We 
>also now propagating them by root cuttings.  In both cases, what sprouts
>from the roots will always be true to type except I suppose in the rare 
>of a sport.
>My own plants have been in the ground now for 6 years.  Although I do 
>some dieback every year, I have also established I nice patch at this 
>This past winter we had a 2 weeks or so of -20 to -25 and no snow cover 
>all.  It may be that one of the worst enemies of black berries in the 
>is desiccation. Plantings protected from wind seem to do better than 
>out in the open.  Not much I can say about voles (or other) eating the 
>back to the ground.  (It's good to know the canes are tasty?)
>Although I have been slow to put together a questionnaire for those who 
>trialing the plants, I am very interested in your experiences.  In any
>event, thanks for the information.  I'm happy to answer any other 
>John Bunker
>P.O. Box 520
>Waterville ME 04903
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