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Botanical Name: Rubus 'Chester'

Common Name: Chester Thornless Blackberry

Cultivar: Chester

Other Names: Thornless Blackberry

Plant Type: Shrub

The most winter hardy of the thornless varieties with large, sweet, high quality berries with good flavor, blackberries are quite shrubby looking and require careful placement in the landscape, a specific pruning regimen and protection from birds

Plant Categories: Shrub, Fruit & Berry Shrub, Edible, Deciduous Shrub

Landscape Application: Massing, Naturalizing, Orchard

Water Requirements
Average To Moist

Sunlight Requirements
Full Sun

Plant Height
3 Feet

Plant Width/Spread
10 Feet


Attracts Birds

Has Edible Parts


Growth & Care

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone3b
Recommended Pruning MethodRemove Dead Canes
Pollinator RequirementSelf

Size & Shape

Growth RateFast
Plant FormSpreading
Plant DensityOpen

Additional Categories

Additional CategoryBlackberry


Foliage TypeDeciduous
Foliage ShapeOval


Edible ComponentBerries
Edible UseRaw, Cooking, Baking, Preserves, C
Edible Harvest PeriodIn Mid Summer

Edible Qualities

Chester Thornless Blackberry is a small shrub that is typically grown for its edible qualities. It produces clusters of black heart-shaped berries which are usually ready for picking in mid summer. The berries have a sweet taste and a juicy texture.

The berries are most often used in the following ways:

Fresh Eating, Cooking, Baking, Preserves, Canning, Freezing

Features & Attributes

Chester Thornless Blackberry has rich green deciduous foliage on a plant with a spreading habit of growth. The fuzzy oval compound leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. It features an abundance of magnificent black berries in mid summer.

This is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a spreading, ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage. This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep. Each spring, cut back all dead and two-year old canes to the ground, leaving only last year's growth standing. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration,

Suckering, Disease

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Chester Thornless Blackberry is sutiable for the following landscape applications,

Mass Planting, Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens, Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

Chester Thornless Blackberry will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. This is a self-pollinating variety, so it doesn't require a second plant nearby to set fruit.

This shrub may not always play well with others, as such, it is best grown in its own designated garden space or isolated area of an edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. It can be propagated by division, however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Negatives: Suckering, Disease