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yoga

blackberry bushes?

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Ok if this isn't off topic, I don't know what is.

A friend of mine in Alaska wants some blackberry bushes. Last year we sent him some acorns, which he nurtured from seedlings and now has teeny oak trees that actually changed color this year for fall.

He works up on the North Slope, where it snowed all day yesterday and had a wind chill of 0*. He is already plugging in his truck. :shok:

He lives 800 miles south of the slope in Sterling. That's where he grows his garden and trees.

I'd like to send him some blackberry cuttings to continue the tradition of seeds from NC. I don't know where there are any blackberry bushes, nor do I know if this is even possible to keep them alive for the shipment or the best way to do it. I could order them online, but there's no fun or personalization in that.

Should I just send him some blackberries to cull the seeds from? Where can I get some locally harvested ones?

Thanks for your participation in the insanity.

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Blackberry season is long over in the Carolinas so it's gonna be tough to find native seeds by now. If you are interested in the native variety you will find they will be blooming with white flowers in April - May with fruit that develops from green to red to black. Usually it's ready to pick by mid to late June, but it was a little late this year due to the colder than normal spring that we had.

You can commonly find these plants on the sides of the road in NC, at the edges of forests, around fences, etc. They usually grow 4-6 feet tall and have thorns. Keep in mind that when they are ripe, they will attract wasps and other creatures so you will want to take care not to get injured. The preceeding comments are based on my experience in picking the native wild variety. Blackberrys are also cultivated in NC but in that case the farmers will use a non-native hybrid variety that produces plumper fruit, but IMO not quite as good.

I don't know if you can propagate the species by cuttings as I've never heard of someone doing it with the wild variety. My guess is they are spread by seeds including those that are eaten by birds and dropped elsewhere.

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Off Westinghouse off Capital Blvd is a bunch of cleared Jack Parker land. Behind the Waffle House there is a small hotel. Beside the hotel pool is a large grouping of brambly stuff. My coworkers have picked lots of blackberrys from that patch. If you have another errand out there it might be worth a look.

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Thanks for the tip - I will go poke around, armed with pictures from the web so I know what berryless and flowerless bushes look like.

Oh, and some gloves. :)

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