What kind of BlackBerry do I have

BlackBerry phones have really taken off over the last few years and are no longer seen as just a business users phone. As their popularity has grown, so has the range of devices – the days of just having a range of 2 or 3 BlackBerry’s has gone and with most of them looking pretty similar, getting the right accessories for it can be quite tricky if you don’t know the model number of your BlackBerry.

To confuse things a little, BlackBerry have recently started to give their handsets nicknames such as BlackBerry Pearl, BlackBerry Curve, BlackBerry Storm & BlackBerry Bold. These names aren’t always the model number of your phone as there are currently 5 handsets that carry the name Pearl and 5 handsets that carry the name Curve. To get the right accessories for your BlackBerry you will also need to know the 4 digit model number that normally starts with an 8 or 9.

This short guide will show you a few quick and easy ways to work out which BlackBerry model you have.

Check your phone

BlackBerry 8300 Curve Rebadged by O2

This might seem like a really obvious thing to suggest, but most handsets will normally have their model number printed on the housing somewhere. If you have bought your BlackBerry direct from your network, you may find that the model number has been replaced with the networks logo. If this is the case – try the next step:

Check the box

Model Number Printed on BlackBerry Box

Again, it might seem obvious, but if you’ve got the box to hand, look for a sticker with a series of barcodes on it – your model number will be printed on here.

Check on the Phone

Your model number can be seen on the ‘About’ Screen

All BlackBerry phones have an option in the settings menu to show you information on your phone. This is probably the quickest and easiest method of checking your model number. From the main menu choose; OPTIONS -> ABOUT. This will then show you your model number on the top line and information on the software running on your BlackBerry will be shown underneath. To go back to the main screen from here, just press the back arrow 3 or 4 times.

Last Resort

Model number is printed on the IMEI label

If you can’t turn your phone on and you don’t have the box, there is one last way to find out the model number of your BlackBerry, and that is to remove the back cover and battery from your phone and look on the IMEI label. The IMEI label is normally a white sticker with a couple of barcodes on it. Your model number will be printed somewhere on this label.

What BlackBerry Model Do You Have? Here’s How to Determine Your BlackBerry Model

Not sure what model your BlackBerry phone is? Flipsy.com shows you how to find it.

If you want to sell your BlackBerry it’s a good idea to know the model number of your device. When you search by model number, you can be certain you’re getting an accurate private market value as well as legitimate buyback and trade-in offer. The last thing you want is to sell your BlackBerry and send it to the buyer, only to find you’ve misrepresented your device. To help you avoid that scenario and ensure you get paid fast, Flipsy.com shows you how to find your BlackBerry model number.

BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0

  • Browse to SETTINGS > ABOUT
  • The model number will be listed

BlackBerry 6 or 7 OS

  • The model number is displayed on the first line

BlackBerry 4 or 5 OS

  • Browse to OPTIONS > ABOUT
  • The model number is displayed on the first line

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR5AUJiX5L8

Mobile World Congress 2017 concluded on Thursday, but as usual all the devices had been announced on the opening weekend, starting with TCL’s BlackBerry KeyOne. Buried in the news of the fourth BlackBerry device running Android was a big change for the company: BlackBerry no longer makes devices; BlackBerry now only makes software. We had the opportunity to speak with Alex Thurber, head of BlackBerry’s mobility solutions unit, about the Canadian company’s transformation.

Over the past year, BlackBerry’s business has increasingly relied on licensing — the division Thurber leads was once called the devices business unit. Now it’s the mobility solutions unit. That’s right — no more devices. Instead, the unit is responsible for supporting handsets and all other hardware. BlackBerry has largely completed its move to a licensing-only model.

“We’re excited how as mobility solutions we fit into the broader BlackBerry story, which is obviously focused on big picture enterprise mobility,” Thurber told VentureBeat. “And again, with our licensing ventures I think we’re in a great position to move forward. You’re going to see a lot more BlackBerries going forward than you have in a long time. Soon our other licensees will start releasing products as well. I think it’s going to be a very exciting year for BlackBerry as we really look at re-expanding our move with smartphones.”

So the KeyOne is just the first of many BlackBerry-branded devices coming out this year. Instead of devices, the company sees itself offering security and privacy features, specifically making it easier for companies, governments, and individuals to protect whatever information they deem valuable. How will BlackBerry do this without making any actual devices? By focusing on software.

License out everything, but control the software

BlackBerry has handed all the hardware and sales details to its licensees. The KeyOne is the first BlackBerry phone that BlackBerry isn’t pushing itself. The past three devices, the BlackBerry Priv, the DTEK50, and the DTEK60, all went through the BlackBerry distribution chain.

Now, licensees are responsible for selling the BlackBerry-branded phones through their own distribution chains. There’s no difference to the end customer, whether it’s a business or an individual user, as the devices are still available in retail stores, from carriers, and on the open market. But for carriers and distributors, they’ll now work with the licensees, as opposed to with BlackBerry.

BlackBerry is no longer making any hardware or manufacturing any devices. The company is still selling some phones, but only those that were already built. You can no longer buy a new BlackBerry from BlackBerry.

This transition has been ongoing for the last month or so. The BlackBerry distribution chain is finito.

When asked about the demand breakdown for BlackBerry devices (enterprises versus individuals), Thurber deftly explained that it really depends on the market. For BlackBerry, Indonesia is very much a consumer market; India is small business, enterprise, and government; Western Europe is more business than government-focused; and South Africa is a lot of consumers. Although the KeyOne is launching globally, licensees will also be building BlackBerry phones catered to specific regions (announced licensees so far include TCL, BB Merah Putih in Indonesia, and Optiemus in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh).

“They are on the ground, they know exactly what their consumers require, be it individuals, be it companies,” Thurber explained. “They are developing the hardware to fit that market at their particular price point and then we’re coming in with that software expertise, the BlackBerry brand, and all awareness and positive vibes behind that. I think it’s a real winning combination.”

The licensee is responsible for coming up with the marketing and branding plan, including the name. Although BlackBerry doesn’t design the phone, the company can approve or deny the final design and name.

At the end of the day, BlackBerry has “complete control of the software.” Well, Google still makes Android, but BlackBerry offers its software and apps on top, including monthly security patches.

BlackBerry delivers a “signed and sealed software image” for every device with its name on it. The company will also work with the licensee for particular applications that a given market requires.

“There won’t be anything put on the device that we haven’t approved,” a Blackberry spokesperson confirmed with VentureBeat. “Anything else has to be stock downloaded and installed from the Google Play store.”

Never say never

Given this new strategy, which has been in the making for over a year, one would think that BlackBerry is entirely focused on software for Android devices and that it will never make hardware again. That would make sense, but the company isn’t quite ready to commit.

When asked where BlackBerry OS fits into all of this, Thurber replied with the same thing BlackBerry has been saying ever since rumors of an Android BlackBerry first arrived: BlackBerry is still supporting BlackBerry OS with regular updates.

That’s right: BlackBerry still employs engineers focused on BlackBerry 10 — the latest 10.3.3 update came out in December 2016. Thurber wouldn’t definitively say there will be no more BlackBerry OS devices, nor would he commit to a future BlackBerry 10 phone. In other words, it’s technically still possible, assuming there’s enough demand from customers.

If a non-Android BlackBerry is released sometime in the near future, however, it will probably be made by a licensee. So, will we never see a BlackBerry-sold phone again?

“I’m always cautious in the technology world to never say ‘never’,” said Thurber. “In the foreseeable future, our model is very much focused on the software licensing and working with partners on the hardware development, and then the branding, selling, etc.”

BlackBerry is dead, long live BlackBerry!

How to Identify Common Wild Berries

One of summer’s greatest traditions is the wild berry harvest. No matter where you live in the United States, there’s a plethora of wild berries just waiting for you to pick them.

Each region has its own set of berries – salmonberries in the Pacific Northwest, for example, but there are three types of berries that almost everyone in the United States can harvest wild. Those include blackberries, raspberries and elderberries. If you’d like to pick your own, read on to find out what you need to know about these three berries and their lookalikes!

Blackberries and Their Lookalikes are two of the most commonly harvested wild berries, and with good reason. These fruits are wonderful for anything from pies, cobblers, to jam and preserves. You’ll find blackberries along the edges of wooded areas, and sometimes out in the open, although frequently mowed fields are unlikely to have mature plants.

Blackberries are also popular because, even though they have many lookalikes, none of those lookalikes are dangerous. In different parts of the United States, you may run into olallieberry, marionberry, boysenberry, loganberry, and dewberry. Most of these berries are native to the Pacific Northwest, with the exception of dewberries, which grow throughout the eastern half of the United States.

To tell the difference between dewberries and blackberries, first look at the structure of the shrub. Blackberries produce tall canes, while dewberries are a trailing bramble that rarely exceeds two feet in height. The berries on a dewberry bush are also a little larger than blackberries.

Raspberries and Their Lookalikes
Black and red raspberries are one of the most popular berries in the United States, ranking third right after strawberries and blueberries. Black raspberries are often confused with blackberries, but it’s easy to tell the difference between the two. Blackberries always have a white core, while black raspberries are hollow, blackberries are also larger, shinier, and they appear later in the growing season. The red raspberry has fewer noteworthy lookalikes than blackberries and black raspberries.

However, if you’re foraging in the Western or Midwestern United States, you’re quite likely to find non-toxic thimbleberries. The easiest way to tell the difference between these two berries is by looking at the plants’ stems. Raspberry plants have lots of small to medium thorns, while thimbleberries are thornless. You can also sometimes distinguish between thimbleberries and raspberries by looking at the berries themselves. Thimbleberries look a lot like thimbles (hence the name) – they’re flatter and wider than raspberries. Birds love thimbleberries!

Red Raspberries


Elderberries and Their Lookalikes
Elderberries are another native species that grows throughout the United States, but some pickers avoid them because there are a couple of dangerous lookalikes. However, if you know what to look for, it’s very easy to safely harvest all the elderberry you can eat!

When harvesting elderberries, always look for large, flat clusters of dark blue or purple berries. If you spot berries that look similar to a long cluster of grapes, you may be looking at pokeberries, which are mildly toxic.

Pokeberries are also roughly the size of a pea and they’re somewhat flat. Elderberries are much smaller and they’re perfectly round.

Water hemlock berries look very similar to elderberries, and they’re highly toxic. Fortunately, you can check the stems of these two plants to tell the difference between them. Elderberries are a woody shrub while water hemlock is herbaceous. In other words, if the stems aren’t covered in bark, don’t pick the berries! Water hemlock always has green or green and purple stems.

Here are some images that highlight a few more differences:


Elderberry Flowers – Image courtesy of JeLuF, Wikimedia Commons

Toxic Water Hemlock Stems and Flowers – Image courtesy of H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons

Mildly toxic pokeberries

There are few better ways to spend bright summer mornings than harvesting wild berries. Just make sure that you know what you’re picking so that you can enjoy the harvest to its fullest!

Wild Cards

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Which Hedgerow Berries Are Safe For My Dog To Eat?

This time of year there are lots of berries in our hedgerows and you may wonder which ones are safe for your dog to eat and which should be avoided. Here are some details on the seven most commonly found berries that you might come across on your walks – which are safe for your dog and which should be strictly avoided.

Remember though that dogs cannot easily break down or digest cellulose so the harder berries such as rose hips and hawthorn are likely to pass through them fairly unscathed and so your dog will derive little benefit from them, other than the pleasure that some seem to get in being able to pick their own food! The softer, juicier berries such as blackberries and elderberries will be broken down to some extent but don’t be surprised if they also give your dog purple tinged poos for a few days!

Always take care that your dog doesn’t eat too many berries as this can make their motions loose or even cause temporary diarrhoea for a day or two. Remember that many berries grow on plants with nasty thorns so take care that your dog doesn’t get any in their feet when foraging – it’s a good idea to check them over when you get home just to make sure.

Finally, never let your dog eat any berries if you are not absolutely sure what they are. We have only mentioned a few of the more common berries here but there are others that may be very toxic, so take care.

1. Blackberries or Brambles (Rubus sp.)

These are everywhere at the moment and of course are related to raspberries and to the lesser known dewberries. Many dogs seem to really love the blackberry season and will not only eat the fruit with relish when it’s offered, but often seek them out and eat them straight off the plant. You do need to be careful if they do this that they don’t get pricked by the thorns, but most dogs who eat them off the plant seem to have become very accustomed to just picking the fruit! Blackberries contain a myriad of beneficial compounds including Vitamins C, K and E as well as potassium, manganese and copper in small amounts and of course, as with all berries, a fair amount of dietary fibre. They are perfectly safe for your dog to eat although as with all berries they shouldn’t be consumed in excessive quantities as this can make their motions loose. Of course while your dog is eating them off the bush you might as well pick some for yourself and put them in an apple pie or crumble when you get home.

2. Black Bryony (Bryonia dioica) and White Bryony (Bryonia alba)

These are very similar looking poisonous climbing plants. The entire plant is toxic but the berries and the roots are the most poisonous. The berries of both varieties are easily identified as they form clusters, are bright and shiny and are often found in hedgerows as well as climbing up buildings, fences, barns, trellises and trees. It is such a strong laxative that, even in the 16th century, its medicinal use was not recommended. If you suspect your pet has eaten these then you should get veterinary treatment immediately as the diarrhoea that it causes can result in severe dehydration which will need medical treatment.

3. Dogwood berries (Cornus sanguinea)

These are not know to be toxic however can cause gastrointestinal upset. They are commonly found in hedgerows but there are also number of varieties of garden Dogwood plants which have the same properties. The berries have a slightly sour taste, and if eaten this can cause irritation in the gastrointestinal tract and your pet is likely to vomit or suffer from diarrheoa due to this. Because of their taste it is unlikely that your pet will eat many, and if they do ingest just a few berries it is unlikely to make them ill, but keep an eye on him or her and call your vet if you are at all concerned.

4. Rose Hips

Rose hips are recognised by most people and it is the dog rose (Rosa canina) that is often found in hedgerows. Most people also know that they are rich in Vitamin C and it has been said that they contain up to 40 times as much as oranges do. They are quite safe for dogs to eat, even though dogs do not generally need Vitamin C supplementation, but as they are quite hairy inside the thick skin, it is unlikely that your pet will eat very many of them in their natural state. It is the oil or powder whole rose hip that is normally used nutritionally in various preparations for both people and animals.

5. Sloes (Prunus spinose)

These are the fruit of the blackthorn and its related hedgerow plant Bullace (Prunus domestica) and are both varieties of plum, and although Bullace berries can be found in a variety of colours, the most common purple type is often mistaken for sloes, but is slightly larger and not so bitter. Neither are toxic for dogs although if they ate too many it could cause temporary diarrhoea. The real danger with Blackthorn is the very nasty thorns that protect the plant and so it is sensible to keep your pet away from these as they can give a very nasty injury. Bullace bushes don’t have these thorns so are easily distinguished from Blackthorn. The best thing to do if you find either of these berries is to pick them and make them into a delicious Sloe or Bullace gin !

6. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

This is another shrub, or tree, that has red berries and is found in woodland and as a hedgerow plant. It also has sharp thorns which can be dangerous, although not as severe as Blackthorn. Hawthorn berries are quite safe for your dog to eat and are used in herbal medicine as a tonic for the heart and was traditionally used to help with a number of heart problems.

The amount your dog is likely to eat of its own accord is limited and not sufficient to have any real beneficial effects, but if they do like eating them then that’s absolutely fine and shouldn’t cause any problems.

7. Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)

These are found on the Elder tree which can grow to a great height, making it less likely that your dog will pick them off the tree, although the ground below can often be littered with the berries later in the autumn. The ripe black berries themselves are very nutritious and safe for your dog, but be aware that the leaves, stems, unripe fruit and the root are all poisonous to both dogs and humans as they contain cyanide, albeit in very small quantities. Fortunately it is the berries that are attractive to eat and it is unlikely that your dog will eat the leaves, especially when they are busy snuffling up the ripe berries on the ground! If your dog does eat anything other than the ripe berries you should get veterinary advice as soon as possible. Elderberries contain Vitamins C and A as well as iron, iodine and a number of bioflavonoids.

Wild Blackberries can not be harvested

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Thornless Blackberries

One of the simple joys of summer is eating fresh blackberries. Anyone who has picked wild blackberries in the woods would be hesitant to grow them at home.

You may envision tangled brambles full of prickly thorns that yield a few handfuls of fruit. The key to growing blackberries yourself is to start with ‘domesticated’ thornless varieties; they will be the easiest and most productive fruit you have ever grown.

Blackberries thrive in most soil types and tolerate a wide range of moisture conditions. They can handle a little shade but prefer full sun for best bloom and fruit potential. Most varieties have little to no disease issues and the only pest problems are birds stealing the berries.

Unlike wild blackberries, the thornless varieties grow long straight vine-like branches called canes. You can trellis the canes to keep them off the ground, conserving space in the garden, and making fruit harvest easier. Install plants at least three feet apart to allow sun exposure and airflow to the canes, as well as room to spread.

Proper can pruning can be intimidating, as you don’t want to risk removing canes you will need for next year. Follow our guide for adequate care of your blackberry plants.

When you get your plants, tie the canes to your trellis. When these canes are fruiting, usually during the summer, the plant will start growing new canes that do not have blooms or fruit production. Just ignore these and let them grow. After fruit production is done, cut the old fruiting canes down to the main plant or ground. Be careful not to cut the new non-fruiting canes as these will need to be trellised to produce next year’s crop.

Throughout the rest of the year, the plant will produce random cane growth, which can be tied to the trellis or cut. Don’t be afraid to remove excess canes if your trellis is full. Typically take off a quarter to half of the canes that the plants produce.

You can’t go wrong with any of the thornless varieties that are available and here are a few of our favorites:

Arapaho- This variety produces early and is very productive. The fruiting period is not as long as Ouachita, and the fruit is slightly smaller, but the seeds are small as well.

Apache- An erect thornless blackberry similar to Arapaho with larger fruit and seed, ripening 15 days later than Arapaho. The Apache Blackberry is very productive and selected because of its great flavor, good yield and very large fruit. Once established, Apache Blackberry plants do not require the support of a trellis or fence to grow; the canes that bear fruit are very strong and stand erect.

Natchez- Another early fruit-ripening date, like the Arapaho, it has high fruit quality, consistent high yields, and large fruit size. Superior plant characteristics include thornless, erect to semi-erect canes and good vigor and health.

Navaho- This erect, heat-tolerant, blackberry earns high praise for its exceptionally sweet, late-June-to-August berries. The fruit’s 11.7 percent sugar content is the highest among all blackberry cultivars.

Ouachita- This variety produces copious quantities of large berries over a month to a mont and a half. The flavor is good and fruit size and quality improve throughout the season. The only downside is that the fruit has larger seeds.

Article by: Jennifer Magavero
Leon County Extension Office

What Is Going On With My Blackberry Fruit?

MP-144 for a list of registered products.

Consumers and grocery stores have a zero tolerance for these larvae in fruit.

Redberry mites in blackberries

***Suspected*** These pictures are of berries suspected to have red berry mite, it has not been confirmed

A distinct line between ripe black druplets and un-ripe red druplets that fail to ripen is a sign of the redberry mite (Acalitus essigi). As this mite feeds on the fruit it injects a toxin that results in the sharp contrast. This occurance tends to be more common on late bearing blackberry varieties.

It is controlled by lime sulfur sprays during dormancy or horticultural oils in season.

Some varieties are slow to ripen and this should not be confused with mite damage. Generally this is not a major pest in AR.

Stinkbug damage in blackberries

Stinkbugs feed on the fruit receptacle (the white part at the center of the fruit) and in doing so damage druplets as they insert their mouthparts. Stinkbugs may feed on green, red or black fruit.

Generally their feeding results in only localized damage to one or two druplets. A secondary type of damage can occur if the stink bug injects its “stink” into the fruit while it is feeding. This may result in a blackberry fruit that can “taste like a stink bug smells”.

Dr. Jackie Lee recommends treating for stinkbug when you see them in the nymphal stages as they are easier to control at that stage of development.

Consult the MP-144 for a list of registered products for stink bug management.

Keep in mind the PHI (Preharvest Interval) for each product particularly during peak harvest time.

Blackberry Disease Related Disorders


Brown crumbly, shrunken druplets are a sign of anthracnose. Anthracnose also causes silvery lesions on the floricanes and if both the berry symptoms and cane symptoms are present that is a good sign it is in fact anthracnose.

Prevention of anthracnose is key and is generally done with a lime sulfur or sulfurix sprays in winter during dormancy.

Options for control of Anthracnose during harvest include Abound and Switch are options with 0 PHI.

Consult your Arkansas Plant Disease Control Products Guide MP154 for more information on rates.

Dry Cell, Dry Berry Syndrome

***Suspected*** This is another suspected issue in these pictures, not confirmed

These symptoms may be related to anthracnose, but the symptoms on this berry were hard druplets instead of more crumbly druplets typically seen on anthracnose infected berries.

The cause of Dry cell, or Dry berry syndrome is unknown but it has been associated with the following:

  • anthracnose
  • ascospora dieback
  • spur blight
  • cane and leaf rust
  • botrytis fruit rot

The occurrence of this disorder is more common in years with heavy late spring rains. This year we have had these conditions and I have seen or heard of these symptoms from several locations in Arkansas and the surrounding area. Treatment is usually targeted at the diseases associated with the occurrence of these symptoms as the cause is unknown.

Blackberry Cane Disorders

I will end this post with a non-berry related blackberry disorder that pops up only occasionally and doesn’t cause any real damage- but is striking when it does occur.

It is called Fasciation.

Fasciation is a phenomena that is an abnormal growth of the growing point of the plant that results in the plant part affected taking on an abnormal and generally elongated shape. This disorder can affect many different types of plants. Cockscomb is a good example of the odd elongated wavy shapes that might occur and is also an example of fasciation that is inherited.

In this case fasciation on a blackberry primocane results in a flattened almost 1.5’’ wide stem.

A blackberry plant may produce this trait on only one cane in a single year and then never again.

The cause of this type of abnormal development has been attributed to environmental factors, herbicide, disease, insect feeding, virus and more. Generally it is isolated and is not contagious or prone to spread.

Fasciated canes may be removed or if curiosity strikes you they can be left to see if they develop odd shaped flowers or fruit in their fruiting year.

The example below if from a farm in NE Arkansas who reports finding at least one of these canes per year.

Blackberries Not Ripening – What To Do When Blackberries Won’t Ripen

Delicious, ripe, juicy blackberries are the taste of late summer, but if you have unripe blackberry fruit on your vines when you should be harvesting, it can be a major disappointment. Blackberries aren’t the pickiest plants, but not watering them adequately can lead to unripe fruit. A particular pest may also be the culprit.

Blackberry Care and Conditions

If your blackberries won’t ripen, a simple answer may be that your vines haven’t been given the right conditions or proper care. Blackberry vines need some organic material in the soil, space to grow, and a trellis or something else to climb for the best possible results.

They also need a lot of sun, light well-drained soil, and plenty of water. Blackberries especially need a lot of water while the fruits are developing. Without enough water, they may develop as hard, unripe berries.

Why Won’t Blackberries Ripen?

If you did everything you have always done for your blackberries and you still have issues with unripe blackberry fruit, you could have a pest problem. Redberry mite is a microscopic pest that you won’t see without a magnifying glass, but that could be the root cause of blackberries not ripening on your vines.

Blackberries not turning black is a typical sign of a redberry mite infestation. These tiny creatures inject a toxic material into the fruit, which prevents ripening. Instead of turning black, the fruits, or at least some of the druplets on each fruit, will turn a bright red and fail to ripen properly. Just a few affected druplets on one fruit make the entire berry inedible.

Redberry mite will stick around on the plant through the winter and infest more vines the next year, so it is a problem to tackle immediately. Two of the most effective treatments are sulfur and horticultural oils. Apply a sulfur treatment before buds break dormancy and then again several times, a few weeks apart, up to two weeks before harvest.

You can apply a horticultural oil after you first see the green fruit develop and continue every two to three weeks, for a total of four applications.

Talk to someone at your local nursery about which application is best and how to use it. The oil will probably cause less damage to the plants, but may be less effective against the mites. Another option, of course, is to tear out your blackberry vines and start over next year.

Cane Blight of Blackberry

Circular 894 View PDF picture_as_pdf

Phillip M. Brannen, Plant Pathologist
Gerard Krewer, Extension Horticulturist

  • Causal Organism
  • Disease Cycle and Causal Conditions
  • Symptoms
  • Cultural Controls
  • Chemical Controls

Cane blight can be a major disease of blackberry in the Southeast, resulting in severe losses — and sometimes causing the complete destruction of fruiting canes in any given year. It is generally not reported in other states as a major disease of blackberries, except when winter injury occurs on thornless blackberries, and most of the reports are associated with raspberry. Wet, humid conditions observed in Georgia and other southeastern states, however, allow for significant losses following pruning or other injuries to the primocane.

Figure 1. Ascospores (top image) and conidia (bottom) at 400X magnification. Two spore types are produced by the cane blight fungus. Ascospores form in an ascus (pl. asci), a tubular membrane that contains eight ascospores when mature; many asci are found in each pseudothecium. Conida are found in a pycnidium and are very small. When viewed through a hand lens, both spore-containing structures can be observed; these are found emerging from just under the surface of dead blackberry canes, and they appear as small, raised, pepper-like black specks. When crushed, the spores are seen as above.

Causal Organism

Cane blight is caused by Leptosphaeria coniothyrium, a common fungus that also causes stem canker on roses and other ornamentals. The fungus produces two types of fruiting structures — pseudothecia and pycnidia — both of which are largely buried in the dead bark tissue. Likewise, the fungus produces two spore types — ascospores or conidia. County extension offices can diagnose this disease either directly through in-office examination or through shipment to extension diagnostic clinics. Incubation of dead stems in a moist chamber (sealed plastic bag with a moist paper towel or similar system) allows accurate diagnosis; within three to four days, sporulation of both fungal spore types can be observed, and microscopic observation of the spores can be used to confirm the diagnosis (Figure 1). Ascospores are seldom observed in North Carolina. (Turner Sutton; personal communication)

Disease Cycle and Causal Conditions

The fungus overwinters on dead tissue of old floricanes (fruiting canes). If not removed, dead canes or cane tissue can serve as a ready source of inoculum. Spores are produced from the spring through the fall, and spores infect injured primocane tissue. Therefore, the risk of cane blight is greatly increased when primocanes are injured or improperly pruned. Though pruning cuts provide a major infection site, insect damage, herbicide damage, freeze injury, or injury from farm machinery or other mechanical operations will likewise provide sites for infection to occur. If rainfall immediately follows any injury, this furthers the likelihood of pathogen infection and establishment in the vascular tissue. Once primocane infection has occurred, the pathogen continues to invade plant tissue during the fall and winter, causing floricane bud failure and cane dieback in the following spring, completing the disease cycle (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Disease cycle of cane blight. The cane blight fungus survives on dead canes or infected tissue. Infection of damaged primocanes occurs in the spring, summer or early fall following injuries such as those caused by pruning cuts. Following infection, symptoms of dieback may be observed, but symptoms often do not develop on the floricanes until the following spring. (Courtesy M.A. Ellis; drawing by Cindy Gray. Reprinted with permission from the Compendium of Raspberry and Blackberry Diseases and Insects. 1991. The American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minn.


In the summer, fall and winter following the initial wound-site infection, cane blight lesions may develop on the primocanes; these lesions are generally dark red to purple with irregular purple borders, similar in appearance to those of Botryosphaeria cane canker. In some cases, lesions may extend for only a few inches, but canes can also be girdled by larger lesions or cankers, causing their death and complete loss of production the following year. Floricane lesions become brittle in the spring and summer, and released spore masses dry on the canes, often resulting in a silvery to gray surface appearance on dead tissue (Figure 3). With a hand lens, fruiting structures will appear as small, black, pimple-like bumps largely buried in the blackberry tissue (Figure 4).

Figure 3. Symptoms of cane blight. Following infection, dead and dying floricanes are seen in the spring and summer. Dead canes appear silvery to gray. Damage is generally associated with pruning cuts, especially large ones. Figure 4. Signs of cane blight. With a hand lens, small, black, pepper-like specks can be seen on the surface of the dead tissue. These are the fruiting structures for the fungus (pseudothecia and/or pycnidia).

Cultural Controls

  1. Avoid wounding the primocanes whenever possible. Puning is necessary for blackberry production, so wounding will occur through pruning operations. Pruning wounds are the primary site of infection, especially following prolonged rains such as those observed in tropical storms and hurricanes. Rainfall or overhead irrigation will disperse fungal spores to fresh wound sites and create favorable conditions for infection. Always check the weather forecast before pruning operations. If at all possible, prune when at least four days of dry weather is expected.
  2. Figure 5. Proper “pinch” or “tippping” technique for pruning. Removing 1-4 inches from the primocane when it reaches the desired height does not require pruning shears, and it causes minimal injury to the primocane while still achieving the desired pruning goals. During the summer, “pinch off” or “tip” tender primocanes when they reach 3-4 feet in height. This is accomplished by removing 1-4 inches from the primocane tip (Figure 5). If possible, instead of clipping, continue to “pinch” prune during all summer pruning. To reiterate, time pruning of primocanes to allow pinching off of the upper tips, as opposed to making severe pruning cuts with shears. Pinched tips have minimal damage, and they heal quickly. Unfortunately, when canes become too tall, use of pruning shears becomes necessary, and they create wounds that open up the stems and pith for infection by fungal pathogens (Figure 6).

  3. Figure 6a. Improper pruning technique and resulting disease establishment. Waiting until primocanes have substantially exceeded the desired height will only cause trouble. Pruning cuts will be much larger. Figure 6b. Improper pruning technique and resulting disease establishment. This allows easy infection by the cane blight fungus as well as other disease-causing organisms such as Botryosphaeria species, and ultimately death of canes will result form these open cuts.

  4. After harvest, remove infected canes and all old floricanes each year, making cuts as close to the ground as possible. Old floricanes serve as a ready reservoir of inoculum for future infections, so destroy old canes each year by either burning or burying them. As an alternative, flail mowing old canes that are pulled to the row middles may help destroy the inoculum; this works for other similar diseases of other fruit crops; but to date, research has not been specifically conducted with blackberries.
  5. Practices that promote quick drying of the canopy will help decrease infection. A weed-free strip under the canopy will also aid drying and air movement.
  6. Avoid stressing plants, making sure that all nutrient and water requirements are met. Soil and tissue samples allow accurate fertilization and pH assessments.

Chemical Controls

Figure 7. Properly managed blackberries. The above plants were “pinch” or “tip” pruned in the previous summer, with fungicides applied at the end of each day of pruning. Cane blight was not observed (inset), though the disease was prevalent in surrounding locations with less stringent management techniques.

Apply fungicides after pruning each day to provide a protective barrier on the wound site until healing can occur. With proper pruning and use of fungicides, blackberries can be produced without cane blight, even in wet years (Figure 7). Contact your local county agent for specific chemical recommendations.

Ellis, M. A., Kuter, G. A., and Wilson, L. L. 1984. Fungi that cause cankers on thornless blackberry in Ohio. Plant Disease 68:812-815.

Status and Revision History
Published on Nov 15, 2005
Published on Feb 10, 2009
Published on May 05, 2009
Published with Full Review on May 02, 2012
Published with Full Review on Apr 20, 2017

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