Methods for Producing Tip-Layered, Long-Cane Blackberry Plants Using the Rotating Cross-Arm Trellis and Cane Training System
Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Improve the production, time of harvest, and flowering characteristics of tip-layered, long-cane blackberry plants using the rotating cross-arm trellis and cane training system.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The rotating cross-arm trellis system and cane training techniques will be used to produce five- to six-foot-long rooted cane plants of several blackberry growth types. The following will be determined: .
1)effects of the cane training techniques on lateral cane development;.
2)effects of tipping date on root development;.
3)effects of different dates of cane detachment from the stock plant on flower bud emergence and productivity;.
4)effects of chill duration on percent budbreak and uniformity of budbreak; and.
5)effects of production variables on plant yield.
Long-cane plants can be transported to areas with favorable growing conditions. Productive long-cane plants can foster niche market blackberry production such as out-of-season fruiting and growing them in areas where perennial production is prohibitive. New technology was developed to produce more productive long-cane blackberry plants. Long-cane and looped-cane plants of 'Siskiyou' and 'Triple Crown' blackberry were produced by using the Rotating Cross-Arm (RCA) trellis technology. About 70% of buds on the cane plants of both cultivars pushed, but other yield components were affected by the production method used to produce long cane plants. Best performing plants were the looped cane plants with roots at both ends of the cane. Yield per cane length was about 50% greater in looped cane plants as compared to long-cane plants that had roots at one end. Many leaves on cane plants remained green in the winter. Photosynthesis measurements showed that they were quite functional even though they had been exposed to sub-zero temperatures. Research has provided a better understanding of plant material source and environmental conditions that affect the rooting and fruiting capacity of blackberry plants.