‘Chester’ is the most winter hardy of the thornless varieties. It has large, sweet, high-quality berries with good flavor. It is excellent for fresh eating, jams, jellies, and pies. This recent USDA introduction with glossy, jet black fruit has to be seen to be believed. ‘Chester’ is largest fruiting thornless blackberry grown, individual fruits measure up to 1 inch long, as big as small plums. The flowers are a light pink and decorative. Just 45 berries will fill a quart basket, compared to more than 100 regular blackberries. ‘Chester’ ripens in August.
Furnish ample moisture during the growing period and cultivate frequently. After the first fruiting season, prune to the ground to allow room for new canes. Additional pruning should be done each spring to keep plants from becoming tangled and to improve their ability to bear. Successful growing depends on pruning the plant to 5-6 canes, along with training new canes to stand erect.