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My new house came with this berry plant which a landscaper identified as raspberry. The fruits are ripening black. The taste of ripe fruit is nice, if a bit sour, not quite raspberry nor blackberry.

Which is it? Should I prune the trailing branches?

closeup

unripe showing leaves

fruit cut open

Here's a wider shot

wide shot

  • @Sue Thanks for the edit. Posting from an old iPhone makes editing difficult. – Jim Garrison Jun 6 '16 at 23:28
  • Is the fruit hollow? Our solid? – Graham Chiu Jun 7 '16 at 0:02
  • Solid with a white central core... post edited with photo. I guess that means blackberry? A shame, since blackberries are considered invasive pests in the Portland, OR area. – Jim Garrison Jun 7 '16 at 1:05
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Based on the pictures at this website and some general knowledge of my own what you have is a blackberry. Blackberries are shiny fruits with large cells and a white core just like the picture you show. By comparison, black raspberries are less shiny with smaller cells and, when fully ripe. come off the plant hollow inside, giving them another common name of 'Blackcap'.

For pruning blackberries there are two stages. The first is done in early spring and is called tip-pruning. When you are tip-pruning you cut the top few inches of the tips of the canes off. This encourages the canes to branch out more, leading to more berries. It's also a good time to clip out any canes that look unhealthy or damaged so the plant focuses it's efforts on stronger canes.

The second stage of pruning is done in summer. Once your blackberries have all been harvested the canes they just came off of are done. They will not fruit (or even grow) again next year, so this is a good time to cut them out, which will encourage the plant to send up more new canes that will eventually bear next years crop.

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    Just confirming blackberry. We have both black raspberries and blackberries growing wild, and we have been eating both over the past 2 weeks. Raspberries grow on long straight "canes" while blackberries either need support, or run wild all over the ground in a tangle. All raspberries are cupped with a hollow center when picked, blackberries have a solid center. – Bulrush Jun 7 '16 at 13:08
  • Wait a minute...this might be BOYSENBERRY. I grow this and what you have looks like Boysenberry rather than blackberry. I'll be back cause I gotta go check. But I have to say Blackberries are wonderful...they are esp. the Himalayan Blackberry considered a noxious weed. Only because they out compete native species. In your space big deal. Yummy. Not much you can do, it is already here and the birds will eat the berries and poop 'em out on your neighbors or greenbelts. Still yummy. Different varieties however are more desirable and less competitive. I'll be back... – stormy Jun 7 '16 at 23:05
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Heh, Dr. Frank Lang did a little talk on plants of the Pacific Northwest and noted as a joke that getting rid of blackberries in Western Oregon is nigh impossible as there is one single root that runs from Portland to Ashland and grubbing it out is a Sisyphean task.

Blackberries are manageable as a berry vine, don't let the fruit drop so they seed out. Smooth, thornless varieties are available from our local grower's coop.

What you have has been well maintained and kept in trim, enjoy the berries.

As to invasiveness, a Loganberry is pretty impressive as to the sheer growth, it will nearly run you off the property.

  • NO WAY!! Grins. Really?? Loganberry, Marionberry, boysenberry and there are more! But NO WAY is there ONE ROOT amongst ALL blackberry patches! And why would a species ever DO THAT? Equisetum for instance is dependant on a root system a foot below the surface but blackberries are prolific because the birds, bears and humans eat the berries and poop them out somewhere else. One of the best ways to disseminate one's seeds! I would give Hops the prize for invasiveness via roots! Impressive. Oh well...vigorous growth well maintained kinda solves that problem... – stormy Jun 7 '16 at 23:12
  • Who the hell is this Dr. Frank? You know I live in Oregon, spent most of my professional landscape and gardening days in Washington. Who is Dr. Frank?? I would love to read his explanation for this state long root!! Skeptic by nature...sorry, grins!! – stormy Jun 7 '16 at 23:14
  • Well, of course he exagerates... <grin> He had a really interesting program, "Nature Notes" on Jefferson Public Radio that you would find very interesting that discussed all sorts of biological topics dealing with Oregon. craterlakeinstitute.com/natural-history/nature-notes-frank-lang/… and his book "A Nature Notes Sampler". – Fiasco Labs Jun 8 '16 at 3:04
  • Whew, I am relieved, but intrigued. Dr. Frank on 'Nature Notes' Jefferson PB, and his book as well. Thanks a bunch Fiasco. I just gotta say that I must have lost my mind not to look into the climate, elevation, soils...I love Oregon...fishing is infrickincredible, but never did I ever imagine weather like this. I lived here for many years but as a kid I didn't notice. 90 degree days and a freeze every few days at night. Gardens just don't belong here unless in a climate controlled greenhouse. Oh I was so spoiled. Grins. Never stop learning...I'll check this 'Frank' out...thanks! – stormy Jun 8 '16 at 8:39

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