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Blackberry ‘Chester’ (Thornless)

‘Chester’ is the most winter hardy of the thornless varieties. It has large, sweet, high-quality berries with good flavor, measuring up to 1 inch long.
It is excellent for fresh eating, jams, jellies, and pies. The flowers on ‘Chester’ are light pink and decorative.

Blackberry ‘Chester’ is a dormant plant selected by DeGroot, offering you the opportunity to get a head start to the season! Due to its dormant state, this plant may lack foliage until it is planted. There is no need to wait until after frost; this may be planted as soon as the ground is workable. This early planting prevents transplant shock and allows it more time to develop its root system. If your plant does have foliage, provide protection from frost. Depending on the climate and weather experienced after planting, this plant could take up to 4-6 weeks to break dormancy and show signs of growth.

Plant Details +

Botanical Rubus fruticosus 'Chester'
Height 5'
Spacing 4-6'
Hardiness Zones 5-9
Exposure Full sun
Foliage Green
Fruit Black
Harvest Midsummer

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the roots meet the stem) is about 1-2" below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly. Fertilize at planting and again in late spring. Choose a sunny site in your garden with good air circulation, water drainage, and a pH of 6.0-7.0. Keep roots moist until planting. Work plenty of organic matter into the soil and mulch to keep out weeds. Plant as soon as the soil has warmed. Trim canes to encourage new growth. Plants should be set out at least 2 feet apart in rows 7 feet apart. Trellising is beneficial for cane support. These summer-bearing berries produce fruit on second-year canes (floricanes). In the fall of the 2nd year, prune spent canes at ground level and thin others to approximately 4 canes per foot of row. Cut off any suckers that grow outside of the rows. Trim remaining blackberry canes to 7 feet.

Pests or Diseases: 'Chester' can experience anthracnose, botrytis, and verticillium wilt. Cane borers and crown borers are potential insect pests. 'Chester' is most resistant to Cane Blight caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea.