Blackberries throughout the Carolinas were in various stages of bud break. In research plots, the most advanced cultivars (Ouachita and some numbered selections) were about 1/4" to 1/2" elongated. King flowers were killed in most of the more elongated buds.
A grower field tour last week in the Lincolonton NC area, revealed that earlier flowering cultivars like Ouachita and Kiowa had king flowers and some of the secondary flowers killed. There was less damage to Navaho and Von both later flowering/fruiting cultivars. There was no green/brown cane discoloration that would indicate cane vascular damage, at least none that was evident at this point.
We will know the extent of damage as the buds continue to elongate over the next couple of weeks. Although the temperatures were quite low, damage does not appear to be as bad as other years.
|Navaho blackberry plants, buds are less than 1/4" elongated. Photo taken 3/23/17.|
|Ouachita blackberry canes, showing 1/4" or more elongated buds. Photo taken 3/23/17.|