Chester Thornless Blackberry
|Price per Plant|
Rubus fruticosus ‘Chester’
In general, Rubus fructicosus is a semi-erect, scrambling, perennial, deciduous shrub with entangling and arching stem growth. The shrub typically grows in woodland threshold sunny edges, dappled in shade and is typically thorny with varying degrees of fruit production and disease resistance. The shrub is believed to have its origin in Armenia, and is now distributed throughout Europe, Asia, Oceania and North and South America. The ‘Chester’ cultivar was developed and later introduced in 1985 through a joint effort by breeding programs in Illinois, Ohio, and Maryland. The variety was named for University of Illinois fruit researcher, Dr. Chester Zych. The cultivar is a thornless variety that reliably produces large, firm blackberries of excellent eating quality that mature throughout the summer. Like the species, the variety is self-pollinating and typically performs best when staked or grown on a trellis for additional support. Although the flowers are attractive and the leaves retain attractive fall foliage, this blackberry is grown primarily as a food crop and it not considered appropriate for ornamental use. The shrub easily/annoyingly roots wherever canes droop or touch the ground. Shrubs are perennial, but canes are biennial – meaning berries will be produced only on second year growth or older (generative canes). For established shrubs, we recommend tip-pruning new vegetative canes (non-fruiting <1 year) in summer. Immediately after fruit harvest, remove all generative canes that fruited to the ground. In late winter to early spring, remove any canes damaged by winter and thin the remaining canes to 4 or 5 strong, well-spaced canes plus trim the laterals thereof. Planting instruction can be found at boydnursery.net/planting/.
|Diseases & Insects|| |
Anthracnose, botrytis, and verticillium wilt are potential disease problems; also susceptible to cane borers and crown borers
Clusters of pinkish-white, 5-petaled, rose-like flowers in spring (April to May) give way to firm blackberries of excellent eating quality that mature in early to mid summer
|Hardiness Range|| |
zone 5a – 8b *need help finding your hardiness zone?
Leaves are ternate above, tending to 5 or 7 palmate leaflets towards the base. Adaxial sides of these leaflets are folded into pleats and glabrate which are green throughout the summer and dark red-purple in fall; the upper side of leaves is dark green while underside is lighter green; short prickles cover the stalks and veins of leaves
3-5 feet tall at maturity with an equal or greater spread
What am I buying?
We sell Chester Thornless Blackberry as rooted cuttings. Taken from Wikipedia, “a plant cutting is a piece of a plant that is used in horticulture for vegetative (asexual) propagation. A piece of the stem or root of the source plant is placed in a suitable medium such as moist soil. If the conditions are suitable, the plant piece will begin to grow as a new plant independent of the parent, a process known as striking.” Put more simply, a rooted cutting is a small clone of the specimen from which it was taken. As a genetically identical clone, the cutting shares all the characteristic traits and attributes of the cultivated variety. Our rooted cuttings are 3-6 months old and 4-8 inches in stem length above the soil line. They are clipped from our private stock plants and grown in root pruning trays at our temperature controlled greenhouse.
When are plants collected?
Once your order is placed, your plants will be collected as soon as the weather permits. This time-frame is normally within 3-7 days. During heavy order periods (April-May), this collection time can grow to 10-14 days.
How are plants shipped?
All shipments are mailed via USPS Priority Mail using PirateShip.com. We monitor national weather conditions and temperatures for shipments. If at any time your order must be delayed for weather concerns, we will contact you by phone and/or email. The day that your order is completed or partially shipped, you will receive an email containing your package tracking number. You can also find this updated information by logging into your account on our website.