|Rubus × loganobaccus subsp. var.||Loganberry|
The Loganberry proved to be productive and well adapted to local conditions, but its flavor was not popular with customers. Its main use was as a parent for further hybrids. It has been used as a parent in more recent crosses between Rubus species, such as Tayberry (loganberry x raspberry), Boysenberry (loganberry x raspberry x blackberry), Youngberry (Phenomenal berry x Austin Mayes dewberry), Santiam blackberry (loganberry x trailing blackberry) and Olallieberry (Black Logan x Youngberry).
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Loganberry. The loganberry was originated by Judge J. H. Logan, of Santa Cruz, California. It is the result of a cross between the Aughinbaugh, a variety of Rubus vitifolius, the wild blackberry of California, and a red raspberry, probably the Red Antwerp. It was a chance hybrid developed from seed in 1881. Since that time the cultivation of the plant has increased extensively. It is cultivated all the way from southern California to British Columbia. However, while being a very vigorous plant, it is very tender and will not succeed where the temperature reaches zero unless protected and even under protection does not seem to fruit as heavily as it does where very mild winters are experienced.
A few years ago it was thought that the loganberry industry was overdone. This was due to the poor shipping character of the fruit and the fact that the berry was but little known; but at the present time not nearly enough fruit can be secured for canning and evaporating, and the berry promises to be one of the best horticultural assets of the Pacific coast. It is one of the very strongest-growing brambles and has a characteristic dark green foliage which it holds throughout the year.
The fruit when thoroughly ripe is of a purplish red and is very large, being one of the largest berries grown. In flavor and habits it shows the characteristics of both the blackberry and raspberry. Unless very ripe the fruit is exceedingly acid, but when thoroughly ripe has a pleasant acid flavor.
In western Oregon the fruit is coming to be of tremendous commercial importance. Salem is the principal center of the industry of the state, there being about 2,000 acres planted in that vicinity and the present outlook is that the acreage will be at least doubled. Extensive plantings are found all over western and southern Oregon. Many of the cultivators are taking hold of the loganberry industry in an extensive way, individual growers planting out as many as 200 acres in one season, while others are devoting from 100 to 200 acres purely for propagation purposes.
There are two other berries being grown in this same area which are very similar to the loganberry, one being the Primus, which is a blackberry-raspberry hybrid, introduced by Luther Burbank. It is an excellent home berry but cannot be picked easily until it is too soft to ship. It is also too shy a bearer to be commercially profitable. The Phenomenal is also a hybrid introduced by Luther Burbank and is supposed to be a cross between the California dewberry and the red raspberry. It is less acid than the loganberry. The fruit, if anything, tends to run a little larger, is a little brighter in color, the foliage is a lighter green and is a better shipper than the loganberry, but it does not yield nearly so well. It does not seem to be so long lived and it is thought by the growers that it is not so good an evaporating berry as the loganberry. As far as the Pacific Northwest is concerned, the loganberry is driving the other hybrids from the market.
The loganberry tends to vary greatly in its seedlings and offers one of the best fields for plant-breeding to be found among small-fruits.
It will grow on any of the well-drained loams and is found to succeed well on the red hill soils and the silty loams along the rivers. It is thought by many of the growers that it prefers a clay subsoil rather than a gravelly or sandy subsoil. When planted on deep rich loams the plant seems to be longer-lived. There are commercial plantings in Oregon fourteen years old that are still very profitable. The principal requisite as regards soil and place is that the drainage must be very good, as the plant is an exceptionally heavy feeder.
The loganberry is propagated very easily by rooting the tips in the fall. In choosing plants to set out, one should choose either very vigorous-rooted tips, or else vigorous one-year-old plants. It is not advisable to plant the cutting or weak tips.
The fruit has not been grown commercially long enough as yet to demonstrate conclusively the best methods, especially as related to the distances of planting. Some growers put the rows as close together as 6 feet, some prefer 7 feet, but the larger number plant them 8 feet apart each way. The plants are set in the rows from 4 to 16 feet apart. When the plants are set as close together as 4 feet, the pruning is very different from that when planted at the greater distances. When planted close together the plants are kept headed back.
It is customary to train the plant as a trailer. It will be some time before it will be demonstrated thoroughly which method of pruning and training is superior, and naturally the distances at which the plants should be set will depend greatly on the soil in which they are grown.
The plants should be given very good care the first year. They do not tend to make a strong growth until the fall months, when the growth is very rapid. In the fall, good strong trellises should be provided. The most common method is to get good strong 7-foot cedar posts. These are set 30 feet apart. Two wires are generally strung on these posts, the first wire being 2 feet from the ground, the second one at or near the top of the post. Number 12 galvanized iron wire makes a very good wire for stringing. It is customary to run the rows north and south in order to obtain a good distribution of sunlight. There are many methods used in training the vines on the wires. Some growers practise the twining together of two or three fruiting canes, fastening them in a bundle to the wires. Others start out the canes in a fan shape. One of the best systems, and one that is meeting with considerable favor, is the weaving of the vines in and out among the wires. This weaving is performed whenever a shoot tends to come out in the row. This method seems to give a very good distribution of the fruiting canes along the wire. It is thought by many growers that it is well not to try to train the plants too high, since the finest berries are grown in the shade and one must take into consideration the convenience of the pickers.
So far, the pruning consists chiefly of cutting out the old canes and the general practice is to remove these canes as soon as the fruit is picked in July, thus minimizing any danger from disease.
The training of the new shoots for the succeeding year's growth may be done during the season or left until fall. A few of the growers wait until spring, thinking that if they have an unusually cold winter their plants are thus protected. In the growing season if the new plants interfere with the tillage or handling of the crop, they are generally kicked in under the fruiting canes. Sometimes small stakes are driven down to hold them in place.
The tillage given to the loganberry is very similar to that given other cane-fruits. If they suffer for lack of moisture or food, the berries become very small. Some growers practise plowing the ground up toward the plants in the fall and away in the spring. The most common practice is to leave the ground heaped up somewhat around the plants, as this usually means that the plants become deeper rooted and the moisture supply is better held than when the ground is kept level.
The yield will vary tremendously, extremes probably being one to seven tons to the acre, with about four tons an acre as a very good average. A number of the growers the past year reported at least six tons, and one patch of 424 vines produced 425 crates. At the present prices and with the heavy yields the profits are very satisfactory. The wholesale price is 4 cents a pound, either for canning or evaporating. These figures mean a profit of $100 to $300 an acre. Some of the growers have contracted their crop up to 1920.
Thus far there are no troublesome insects and only one disease, namely, the cane anthracnose, which is very similar to the anthracnose that attacks other cane-fruits.
At the present time, the demand is many times greater than the supply for both canning and dried berries. The reason for this is that the loganberry has proved to be one of the best pie berries on the market. It makes a very excellent jelly, and its juice is a very refreshing beverage and is thought by many to be superior to grape-juice. Undoubtedly in the near future the juice manufacture will become a very extensive industry. At the present time such cities as Chicago, St. Paul, Omaha, and St. Louis, are unable to buy the quantities of dried and canned loganberries that they desire.
The berries are consumed fresh, but to be relished must be thoroughly ripe. Unless in a ripe condition the acid is so strong as to be unpleasant. Canned berries are generally put up in enameled tin cans, since the common tin cans are eaten by the acid.
In evaporating the berry, the common prune-drier is used. The berries are spread on trays of galvanized iron mesh wire. The trays are about 36 by 20 inches and the fruit is piled ½ to 1 inch deep on these trays. It takes from sixteen to twenty-four hours to evaporate the loganberry and probably twenty-four hours turns put a better product than when only sixteen hours is given. The tunnel drier is about as good a drier as can be used. The fruit is first placed in a temperature of 135° to 150° and this temperature is gradually increased until 165° is reached. The berries should be nicely dried in 16 hours; some seasons in .less time. The product will be better than when the temperature is started low. The berries should be carefully selected and only ripe berries used, as the green berries do not dry well. It is almost impossible to dry them and even though they do dry they are too tart. If the fruit is uniformly ripe it dries very uniformly; but if it is over-ripe it tends to drip badly, caramels and burns easily. The wholesale price for the dried product is at the present time about 28 cents a pound. The berries dry down to about one-fifth, so that a twenty-five-pound crate will produce five pounds of dried fruit, although the percentage of the dried fruit to the fresh fruit will vary considerably. The first few pickings dry down more than those which come later, and should there be heavy rains the berries grow very large and luscious but contain relatively more water. It costs roughly about a cent a pound to dry the berries, although the commercial evaporators are charging about 3 cents for each dried pound. After drying, the berries are allowed to sweat and are handled about the same way as blackcap raspberries. They are then packed in boxes which hold either twenty-five or fifty pounds each.
Since the prune and the loganberry grow on similar soils successfully and both can be evaporated in the same drier, there are a number of growers who are combining these two crops. Thus a greater revenue is derived from the money invested in the evaporators. Loganberries come into bearing the second year and bear heavily the third, while the prune bears some the fifth year but not heavily until the seventh. The average evaporator will cost about $2,000 and such a building can handle the product of 40 acres.
As yet the loganberry is sold only in the United States. No attempt has been made to send it to foreign countries. This is due to the fact that the growers have not been able to satisfy the buyers who come to them. The future for this berry appears to be promising, the indications being that it will be many years before the demand can be satisfied.
Loganberry plants are sturdy and more disease- and frost-resistant than many other berries. However, they are not very popular with commercial growers due to several problems which increase labour costs. The plants tend to be thorny and the berries are often hidden by the leaves. Additionally, berries of varying maturity may grow on a single plant, making it difficult to completely harvest one. They are therefore usually kept in domestic gardens.
The loganberry bush is usually about 10 canes large. The canes are not as upright as its raspberry parent and tend to vine more like its blackberry parent. It can be undisciplined in its growth and the cane (vine) can grow 5 or more feet in a year. Some gardeners train the canes fanwise along a wall or a wire frame. Old canes die after their second year and should be cut away as they can bring disease, and hinder harvesting. If it is not correctly pruned, it can produce blackberry 'sports'.
This photograph shows loganberries in blossom above others in fruit. The fruit starts green (as shown on the left), then red (as shown above) and finally a deep purple.
The loganberry fruits earlier than its blackberry parent. As it has fruit in different stages, from blossom to mature fruit, it produces fruit for approximately 2 months. This is generally between July and September (November-January in the southern hemiphere) depending on which zone you are in. Plants continue to fruit for around 15 years. They can self-propagate. Each bush can produce 7 kg to 8 kg per bush, where each bush has about ten canes.
The berries are generally harvested when they are a deep purple color, rather than the red shown in the illustration above.
Pests and diseases
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963