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Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 12:20

I love the stocky growth habit of Black Diamond but can see it as a disadvantage for many. It works good in a 3-5 gallon pot. Columbia Star has the normal long canes of other trailing western blackberries. Both are thornless.

The BD was planted a month earlier than CS, both in-ground. BD has one cane about 6ft long vs four canes totaling ~25-30ft for CS.

Black Diamond vs Columbia Star photo makingrasinsBlackDiamondvsColumbiaStar006_zps0564727c.jpg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Wow fruitnut,that's some kind of growth!I think my Columbia Star came to me about the same time as yours.The height is about six inches. Brady


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 19:06

Brady:

Looked it up and see that I got Columbia Star about April 1. It was shipped twice, to original buyer and then to me. Very small and somewhat sickly. So it's made 25-30ft of growth in 3.5 months. I'm expecting a good crop next yr.

The potted Columbia Star has about 20ft growth. So much that I had to abandon the trellis idea that I used last time and am running it down the greenhouse wall just like the in-ground specimen.

PS: I measured and the potted Columbia Star has 35ft of total canes. Leaf clusters are spaced 3 inch on CS and 1.5 inches on BD so CS has way more leaves and probably way more yield potential next spring.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 19:26


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

One nice thing about the Black Diamond is the very short fruiting spurs, only a few inches long, easy to keep everything in 2 dimensions as opposed to sprawly Triple Crowns.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 8:09

Larry:

My setup didn't factor in length of fruiting spurs. I have a feeling either the plant or I will adapt. How long will the fruiting spurs get, two inches or eight, I forget?


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

I think our plants came from jtburton right?What average temperatures are your April-June?They are probably like my June -August.
Do your Blackberry plants get much fertilizing and what kind? Thanks,Brady


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 13:47

Yes mine came from jtburton about April 1 based on my payment to him.

These have been in my greenhouse at about 86F/60F day/night.

I've been fertilizing at most waterings with a dilute Miricle grow, about 1/2 teaspoon per gallon.

They've grown nonstop both potted and in-ground and should for another two months, Monsters!! But I love it and have hopes for a decent harvest next yr.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Yep. I broke up the order from Sakuma Brothers and shipped those Columbia Star blackberry plants out to you guys. Mine had a slow star but they are starting to pickup now. Here's one of them below. Two initial primocanes are 3-4ft long but if has since popped a few more canes recently...they have a lighter color.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Here's another Columbia Star with Kotata and Wild Treasure canes running on the wires behind it.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Here's a Siskiyou that was the result of tip rooting (layering) this spring. These have proven to be highly vigorous for me in my climate.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Here's a Siskiyou I planted last August (2013). It fruited this Spring and now has more than 120ft of new growth. It has 6 x 15ft long primocanes and new laterals off each primocane that measure at least 5ft each.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 14:15

Wow, jt, now you've got me worried, I might have planted a true monster, 120ft!!!. But Black Diamond won't get out of hand and I can slow down Columbia Star by limiting pot size.

I love my Black Diamond. It's like the Neanderthal of blackberries, slow and brutish. I hope the berries are as good as I remember.

Your CS babies have done well.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

I have only 1 black diamond and I almost pulled it this Spring due to slow growth and cane borer damage. The plant had one cane last year that was about 4ft long and that was it. I had to cut it off at the crown but the plant rebounded with 5 canes that average 5-6ft each.

This growing season has had weird weather again. My temperatures have been below normal and rain has been above average. During the normal summer, my area averages 86F during the summer months and the rain slows down after mid-June. It's rare to have green lawns all summer long but it is happening this season. The moisture and cooler temperatures have caused fungus to explode everywhere, so almost all of my plants have some level of leaf spot or other fungal malady. The weeds have also exploded in growth so much so that I feel like I'm living in a jungle.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

I plant my trailing blackberries in a 2ft x 2ft x 6-8" planters to help with drainage and then amend my heavy clay soil with peat moss and purchased garden soil. At planting I also add a couple of cups of organic fertilizer and then water the plant in with Miracle-Gro All Purpose plant food (1 tablespoon per gallon). Then I'll follow up with the Miracle-Gro All Purpose plant food a couple of more times before mid-July. All of the planters get pine straw mulch to help with moisture and weed control.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

My black diamonds here usually grow to over 10 feet, they just keep plugging away. I don't think I have ever seen a lateral form naturally.

The fruiting spurs, 8" would be a long one, the fruit clusters are quite condensed; the first berry is nearly at the cane or lateral. Spurs are spaced 2-4 inches apart along the cane.

Some spurs that develop near ground level on the main cane can be longer, typical of many blackberry types.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 23:45

Thanks Larry, that's helpful. I do think my Black Diamond has one lateral. It's forming near the base and is about 10 inches long. Maybe it's not called a lateral. But it's another shoot.

The Columbia Star is much more into multiple shoots from down low, 5-8 on my new plants. Black Diamond just has the one shoot and now a possible lateral. They are planted a foot apart.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by Drew51 5b/6a SE MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 13:18

I also have both plants mine were slow to start. I don't fertilize that much, and they are in ground. Black Diamond is out growing Columbia Star. Both though are small, Loch Ness is outgrowing them both. All planted around the same time. But that is OK, i would rather them stabilize and grow roots. I have so many blackberries it's not like I need a huge crop off of these.
I'm not going to push growth this year. Next year they will be fertilized more. Here, at this point, only one more fertilizer round for everything. Soon I need them to harden off for the winter. I don't like to fertilize after August 1st. I will give them one more good dose.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 13:45

Outdoors and greenhouse are two different animals. I can push mine in gh until winter with no negative consequences that I'm aware of. On most of my other fruits I'm wanting low to moderate vigor. Not so with most berries at least in greenhouse. Outdoors I'm not pushing figs or berries. I'm wanting them to harden off.

My second leaf Carmine Jewel is about 12 inches tall. It's planted in with stone fruit on Lovell. I'm already into the reduced vigor mode on Lovell for trees planted this spring. Some of the Lovell trees are heavy with fruit buds. So I'm hoping for a crop next yr to help with vigor control.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 14:46


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

Most of my trailing blackberries are fast-growing. Some put out fewer canes but grow much longer while others put out more canes and grow shorter primocanes. Columbia Star is moderately vigorous for me so far and Black Diamond is the slowest grower. Marion can put out 20ft primocanes but only a couple on my 3-yr plants. Newberry was an 8 inch starter this Spring but has since grown more like a Boysen by sending out at least 8 canes, the longest several are about 8ft. The trick to all of this though is getting them through the winter, canes intact.

Last year I had the triple threat of winter cold, cane borers, and voles. I used an insecticide for the cane borers (an 'imidacloprid' generic) this year which seems to have protected them. For the voles, I'm going to set some traps during the late Fall and early Winter to reduce their population. I may also use some wire mesh on a couple of plants just to make sure they survive. As for the cold, I'm thinking through some new strategies to capture and retain heat while shielding them from cold, drying winds.

This post was edited by jtburton on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 14:49


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 14:50

jt:

I'm interested in the fruit eating quality of the Newberry. I hope you can get some fruit next yr. Protect that if you can.....;-)


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

  • Posted by Drew51 5b/6a SE MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 15:12

I would like to try Newberry too, which I would need to protect! Hey anti-desiccant spray. It might work well enough no other protection would be needed? I have heard it does work. I'll leave some canes exposed to see.
My Carmine Jewell are 2nd leaf. The first year at my cottage, hardly any growth. Dug them up, potted them brought them to the city (I have two). They are both about 30 inches doubling in size. And only fertilized once. Amazing what good light can do.

My report on Black Diamond, Columbia Star, mean little, new plants. All of my 2nd year blackberries grow crazy mad! Well most. The Boysenberry is growing 20 foot canes. I had to cut them, they were going two plants over! TC, and Chester growing very well, Natchez, another that is an amazing grower, and hardier than TC or Chester btw, one cane survived and is producing fruit. TC and Chester, all canes died.
Navaho looked dead, but around July 1st it threw some canes up. Very small for 2nd year, but it's alive. Loganberry crown died from the cold.
Tayberry crown made it. Produced a few berries as a few inches of the floricanes was alive.

One other comment. I have seen Natchez rated as good, not excellent. So I was pleasantly surprised how good the berries were. I liked them, not bad at all. It may be this environment works well for that cultivar. It grows faster than any other blackberry here. I almost pulled it too after seeing the rather average taste reports. One really needs to try plants first.


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RE: Growth habit & rate: Black Diamond vs Columbia Star

The initial ARS testing on Newberry (my picture attached) had it rated as more cold hardy than Marion, which is a good thing. The taste was also highly rated. My trailing blackberries and blackberry hybrids have had mixed outcomes regarding flavor and I'm not sure why. Marion, Siskiyou, and Boysenberry have had good flavors but I had trouble getting the same results for Black Diamond, Kotata, Obsidian, Wild Treasure, Loganberry, and Silvan. Other than Kotata and Loganberry, all of the others that tested poorly were potted when they were tested, so perhaps that had some impact. Scott really liked Kotata but mine were not that favorable. My Kotata are growing really well this year, so maybe if they over winter well next year they will improve. Same goes for Wild Treasure and Black Diamond which have been moved in ground too. I'm really hoping that Columbia Star taste really good... that would be a big win!


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