Effects of rotating cross arm trellis on first year blackberry yield, fruit quality and pest pressure
The use of rotating cross arm trellis in blackberry (Rubus subgenus Rubus Watson) production offers the ability to move the crop canopy to protect canes from freezing temperatures, orient berries to a shaded position, and facilitate ease of picking. However, published comparisons of standard and moveable trellis systems are lacking for blackberry production in the Southeastern United States. In 2018, two trellis systems (Standard T-trellis and Rotating Cross Arm (RCA)) were evaluated on one-year-old Osage, Ouachita, and Prime-Ark® Traveler blackberry plants where laterals were trained vertically. Measured response variables included floricane lateral numbers and lengths, marketable yield, average fruit weights, incidence of white and red drupelets, fruit composition (pH, soluble solids, and titratable acidity), and postharvest decay. The RCA trellis system had higher marketable yield plant‑1 due to higher total length of laterals trained per plant, while yield m‑1 of row was higher on the standard trellis. Average fruit weight was also higher on the RCA compared to the standard. Unmarketable fruit weights at harvest, and postharvest fruit decay were both lower on the RCA relative to the standard trellis. Fruit firmness at harvest for Ouachita was improved when grown on the RCA relative to the standard trellis. The potential for the use of RCA trellis was demonstrated, and warrants further evaluation for southeastern blackberry production.
McWhirt, A., Lee, J., Threlfall, R.T. and Ernst, T. (2020). Effects of rotating cross arm trellis on first year blackberry yield, fruit quality and pest pressure. Acta Hortic. 1277, 215-224
t-trellis, rotating cross arm, yield, fruit quality, Rubus