University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Studies were conducted from January to October 2005 to determine the effect of root-cutting length on adventitious shoot yield and the management practices necessary to produce nurseryquality primocane-fruiting blackberry plants. The first portion of the study measured the average number of shoots produced from 7.6 cm- and 15.2 cm-long root cuttings of APF-44 blackberry—a primocane-fruiting genotype from the University of Arkansas breeding program. Cuttings were forced in a shallow bin containing a soilless potting medium. The average number of shoots per root cutting from 7.6 cm- and 15.2 cm- long root cuttings averaged 1.6 and 2.7 shoots per root cutting, respectively. Rooting percentage for collected shoots was nearly 100% regardless of root-cutting length source. A qualitative comparison of shoots from the two roots lengths was similar. The latter part of the study included various treatments on the rooted shoots that might affect the productivity and quality of the final product intended for nursery sales in early fall. With the aim of producing a flowering/fruiting shrub by late September, three treatments were applied: pot dimension, fertilizer rate, and shoot tipping. Fertilizer rate had the greatest impact of all treatments with the higher rate producing larger and more attractive plants. Above-normal summer/fall temperatures may explain lack of fruiting on APF-44 blackberries, but the dimension and size of some plants provided a portion of the intended aesthetic.