Arapaho Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
Arapaho blackberry botanical name is Rubus spp. 'Arapaho’. The tree does not grow to a specific height but spreads 3-5 feet apart. It is a handy plant, thornless and disease resistant which matures very fast.
When planting the soils should be well drained, rich, have a pH of 5.5 – 6.8 and should be sandy loamy. For better understanding of the soil pH it is good to do a test so that you can get the correct pH for the soil. In cases that the soil is not very much fertile, one can add fertilizers to improve the soil. The sun should be partial shade or full sun but both facilities the well growing of the tree.
Spacing of the plants should be at least 3 feet apart with rows about 5-8 feet apart. This plant produces fruits on the second year. During the growing period it is important for the plant to have ample moisture. It is advisable to cultivate regularly and after first fruiting season one should prune to the ground so that the new canes can be formed.
The thin, diseased and damaged branches should be pruned to allow the tree have health fruits. Pruning also acts as a training ground for the newly formed canes that learn how to stand erect. The tree is self pollinating and this is a common norm for all blackberries.
The foliage is dark green in color and fruits bloom in spring. Mostly the fruits are ready in mid June and they are known to be so sweet, have good size, and firm. The production of berries for this thorn less blackberry is heavy but harvesting is very easy.
The fruits normally attract birds which are; gray catbird, northern cardinal, northern mocking bird among others. When the tree is in the flowering stage it attracts butterflies. Most people mistake this plant for ornamental use due to its attractiveness when flowering, but the purpose of growing it is entirely for fruits purposes.