Zone 4 Hardy Blackberries


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northern maine
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hey folks. I've been trying to help a new york nursery collect wild breeding stock of blackberries in a attempt to breed a zone 4 hardy commercial blackberry variety. I'm in z 4a in n. maine and blackberries won't grow here so I'm reaching out to anyone on here that has wild blackberries growing near them in this zone. if you could dig 2-4 young plants and send them to me, i would pay shipping and a bit for your time/ labor. I'm not doing this for personal gain but to help this nursery develop a great cultivar that would grow in our zone. thanks for your time.
 
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Why would you bother to force nature? Zone 4 is so cold plant flesh freezes. Would it be so hard to hybridize a faster green up instead?
 
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i have many types of berry and fruit trees here that have survived -40f last winter with no damage! i have 2 variities of blackberry that grows well here but aren't big producers. 1 is a cultivar called babycakes dwarf blackberry the other is a wild blackberry called canadian or smooth blackberry. this is the plant i sent to twisted tree nursery in new york to use to try and breed a commercial grade cultivar to grow in the north. unfortunately the berries are small but if crossed with another cold hardy blackberry with bigger berries it could produce a bigger, better crop. man has pushed plants to thrive in areas they aren't native to, for thousands of years. thats why we have such a diversity now that was unheard of even 100yrs. ago. the canadian blackberry is hardy clear to the arctic circle. shurley a z4 hardy commercial cultivar can be had with the right crosses w/ this. I've submitted 2 more plants given to me from folks in vermont and n.h that are at least z4 hardy but still suffer from small fruit size. darrow is marginally hardy to z4 and is showing potential as a cross w/ my canadian blackberry. has good size also. also HoneyberyUSA has a z3 hardy cultivar called pequot lakes blackberry. they dont say anything about berry size and they are out of stock right now but i will order some to trial here.if theres a will, theres a way!
 
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That is a fascinating effort! Do you have pictures of the subjects you are working with? We have a stand of blackberries we purchased from a nursury called Petals from the Past, and they are huge, but zone 8 sounds too far removed to cross over, but I literally know nothing about those types of efforts
 

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