Bristol Black Raspberry

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The best-tasting black raspberry! This all-purpose fruit is large, firm and gorgeous. It tastes great whether you’re eating it fresh, freezing it for later or whipping it up into preserves. Vigorous, upright canes do not require staking. Cold-hardy. Mid-summer bearing. Ripens in July. Self-pollinating. A licensed variety of Cornell University.

Note: Do not plant Red, Gold or Purple raspberries within 75-100 feet of Black raspberries. Black raspberries may be more susceptible to viral diseases carried by aphids to and from nearby raspberry plants.

After planting, be sure to prune the bare-root canes back to about 2 inches above the ground. (This does not apply to potted raspberry plants.) Do not skip this step! It is a crucial factor in encouraging the roots to send up new growth during the growing season. It is in the nature of raspberry plants to send up new growth as suckers or basal shoots from below the ground. This means the canes that you plant may not be where you find signs of life or new growth. When it’s time to grow, you will see new sprouts emerge from the ground around where you planted the cane, and this growth is coming from the raspberry plant’s root system.

125% Survival Guarantee!

Since 1816, Stark Bro’s has promised to provide customers with the very best fruit trees and plants. It’s just that simple. If your trees or plants do not survive, please let us know within one year of delivery. We will issue a one-time merchandise credit to your account equaling 125% of the original product purchase price. Read more about our warranty policy.


Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Black
Fruit Size Large
Pollination Self-Pollinating
Ripens/Harvest July
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 6.8
Taste Rich
Texture Firm
Years to Bear 1 - 2
Zone Range 4 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your plant matures, it will be approximately 4 - 5' tall x 3 - 4' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these plants 3 - 4' apart to ensure room for growth.


This variety is self pollinating.

In many cases, you may still want to plant pollinating partners to increase the size of your crops, but with self-pollinating varieties doing so is optional. You'll get fruit with only one plant!

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow raspberry plants in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Arrives when it's time to plant

Your success is our priority. We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location based on your local climate conditions.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 14 questions Browse 14 questions and 76 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
I have loved black raspberries since I was a child. I have longed to have, I can!
C H on Apr 19, 2021
Looked like a hardy plant and we love black raspberries.
Margaret S on Apr 9, 2021
I have loved black raspberries since I was a child. I have longed to have, I can!
C H on Apr 19, 2021
Black walnut tolerant
Ryan M on Apr 15, 2021
Looked like a hardy plant and we love black raspberries.
Margaret S on Apr 9, 2021
looks like a good variety
Roscoe H on Apr 7, 2021
Trying 3 new types of raspberry -black- plants
Charena M on Apr 4, 2021
It is the best flavor I???ve found.
Jessica M on Apr 2, 2021
Roscoe H on Mar 11, 2021
Expanding my existing berry patch. Bristol is a consistent producer.
Chaz on Mar 7, 2021
Best berries ever. I grew them for years.
Thomas S on Mar 5, 2021
I remember eating the most delicious black raspberries that grew wild behind my house. They are impossible to find now, but my sister has a green thumb
Jonnelle D on Feb 26, 2021
Haven???t had much luck with black raspberries purchased locally. Trying again
Cynthia G on Jan 13, 2021
Have this verity and like them
Ronald R on Dec 19, 2020
Black raspberries are simply the best tasting. I grew some wild ones last year and had to remove them at a neighbor's request. The wild ones were pretty tiny, but delicious!
Joe B on Jun 15, 2020
My dad has fond memories of picking them when he was a child. These have less seeds than blackberrries.
Cindy O on Apr 28, 2020
Reputation of variety. (Bristol)
Gary O on Apr 28, 2020
Love this type of raspberry
Winston M on Apr 21, 2020
want a black raspberry.
Rick O on Apr 13, 2020
reviews and sweetness of the berry
Sheryl F on Mar 28, 2020
Black raspberries will grow very well here, and are easy to manage, and, produce lots of tasty berries for myself, and wildlife.
A C on Mar 21, 2020
It will blend in with the natural landscape.
Timothy L on Mar 20, 2020
Adding these to an existing berry patch. Once established, these are good performers. They compliment my Jewel and Allen varieties
Chaz on Mar 11, 2020
Adding to existing collection of Black Rasberries, these are hardy and delicious.
Robert M on Mar 9, 2020
Bargain price, proven quality
JAMES H on Mar 7, 2020
It is the one I wanted from the product description, Makes the best Jelly possible/
Johann F on Mar 3, 2020
Have some of these and want to add more.
Sandy S on Feb 8, 2020
Black raspberries boost stem cells and kill cancer cells.
Debbie C on Jan 30, 2020
Previous experience growing this variety. Large berries and very tasteful
Ronald D on Jun 17, 2019
I ordered black raspberries because they are shade tolerant and walnut (juglone) tolerant.
Michelle A on May 28, 2019
Hardiness and for comparison to the Allen Black Raspberry.
Annie S on May 17, 2019
Miss the taste of the black vs red
James A D on May 15, 2019
high in antioxidants
Rose B on May 10, 2019
good flavor and upright canes
Willeene G on Apr 28, 2019
Good cross pollinator for Allen Black Raspberries.
Richard M on Apr 15, 2019
Plant Description
Teresa N on Apr 13, 2019
My favorite berry and could not find any in my area for purchase.
Michelle B on Apr 10, 2019
Liked the details
Michael l on Mar 31, 2019
I already have this variety and love them.
thilde j on Mar 30, 2019
This is a reliable black raspberry that produces nice-sized berries on strong canes. The berries are very flavorful. The canes are generally winter-hardy in our area which is prone to bitterly cold winds in January and February.
Gary on Mar 29, 2019
Wanted a mix of black raspberries and different harvest times to enjoy even longer.
Franklin O on Mar 25, 2019
I had a patch of these before and loved them.
Garry C on May 26, 2018
upright canes, first year bearing
walter b on May 22, 2018
For jelly and eating. Black Raspberries are the most delicious berries ever!
Patricia H on Sep 13, 2017
Heard that this is a great variety and will have a lag in production with the Jewel plants
Jeff the farmer on Apr 9, 2017
Black raspberries are so delicious in the wild, but they are disappearing in my neck of the woods, replaced by tasteless thimbleberries. I'll plant one in my small yard, and two in the nature preserve where I walk almost every day. These plants should have thorns, otherwise the deer will destroy them.
Laura C on Mar 14, 2017
Because I love black raspberries. My mother loved them and I planted some for her many years ago. They produced consistently every year. I sold my home and forgot to get some starts before I moved out and have been looking diligently for plants for my new home in AZ. I can hardly wait for Summer next year! Yummy!!!!
Barbara j on Mar 14, 2017
black raspberries are so hard to find. those in the wild are small and the vines trail so badly. these are erect with bigger berries.
daniel c on May 16, 2016
Cold hardy and large tasty raspberries easy to pick
Vickie B on May 5, 2016
No staking needed
Donna M on Apr 24, 2016
I've had it for decades and it was my Favorite for taste and the first to be ready for picking /eating.
william j on Apr 12, 2016
A great black raspberry with great flavor. Plant does well in most soil conditions.
Michael L on Mar 31, 2016
Black walnut tolerant
Ryan M on Apr 15, 2021
looks like a good variety
Roscoe H on Apr 7, 2021
My plants are third year and plentiful, the problem I have is the fruit isn't terribly sweet and the seeds are hard and plentiful. Am I doing something wrong?
Mike V on Jun 15, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Make sure you only leave 3-4 new canes per plant each winter.

These plants produce similar harvest weights no matter how many canes they have between 4-15 canes, but more canes = many small seedy fruits while fewer canes make larger sweeter fruits of commercial quality.

Other important pruning factors are:

-cut tips off canes once they are 8-10 feet long, as this results in better nutrient allocation and also provokes side shoot formation, which means better fruit quality and more fruits respectively
-cut tips off side shoots when they get to 16-18 inches, this again significantly raises fruit quality and size

The only time you would let a plant keep all its canes is if you were going to use that plant to propagate with tip layers... all you do is put the tip of the cane into a 1-2 gallon pot of garden soil. After a few months it will have a good root system and you will still have plenty of time to plant them in fall for overwintering and expanding your patch!

I am actually due for this pruning myself, will; be doing some dramatic pruning to 6 feet on my wild black raspberries to see what kind of fruit quality I can achieve with them.
I have third year canes; 3 Bristols and 6 Cumberlands planted at our "new" house. Growth is good and we had an OK harvest of about a quart and a half of really good tasting berries this year. But they are smaller than those at our old house. We have very "clayey" soil although I added top soil/vermiculite when I planted. They get morning to early afternoon sun, but are in heavy shade from about 1 pm on. The old house's plants got noon to dusk sunlight. Do either of these account for the smaller sized berries? Taste is NOT a problem. Hoping for better than a pint per crown next year.
David O on Jun 19, 2016
BEST ANSWER: To achieve the best size and quality, berry plants prefer full sun: at least 6-8 hours of it. I'm not sure how old your canes were at your last house, but my berries performed a lot like your third-year plants: The fruit seemed smaller than expected, even though the flavor was there. Then the following year, the fruit was much bigger and still flavorful. I attributed it to the weather (much more rain than previous years) and the fact that the plants seemed to hit their stride. As if the previous fruitful years were just practice. It was a welcome surprise!
Does this plant have thorns?
Denise S on Apr 19, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes but they are easy to work around when pruning or picking.
How soon after I plant them will they grow leaves?
Carole B on Apr 29, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Carole B. I planted a bunch of different raspberries and black caps a few summers ago. They produced great plants w/ berries within months. I love blackcap jam. Don???t plant close to raspberry beds, they don???t like each other. I???ve move mine to grow along a fence in front yard and they are just coming on. Looking forward to a good batch, also I order a few different brands.
Can you grow red raspberries & black raspberries together?
Eileen T on Jul 3, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Because of disease, you are not supposed to grow black and red together,
you're supposed to keep them separate.
what if i need to delay planting?
Angela D on Mar 15, 2021
BEST ANSWER: If you don???t have a cool area that won???t freeze, bareroot berries and other small plants can be kept in the lower section of your refrigerator, but DO NOT store them with fruits or vegetables unless COMPLETELY sealed in airtight plastic. Better yet, double seal them in plastic, as fruits in your refrigerator give off gases that are lethal to plants. Gallon-size resealable bags are ideal. Before planting, soak the roots in a tub or large trash can of water for one to two hours. As soon as you???re able to dig into your ground, you can plant the barefoot items. Please review our blog on, ???What To Do If You Can???t Plant When Your Order Arrives,??? I have provided the link for you.
Would I be able to receive them asap?
I am going to pot them up and keep in greenhouse till spring?
Betty B on Feb 1, 2021
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. The date given on the website os the first available date the growers are going to release these for shipping.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
Is Bristol floricane or primocane?
Eli W on Jul 15, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. This variety is a floricane.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
Black walnut trees are all over my yard. Is there a raspberry variety that isn't effected by junglans? The "herbicide" walnuts emit.
JON B on May 6, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. Unfortunately not that I am aware of.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
how much fruit do you get per plant?
joe a on Feb 11, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Much will depend upon the sun, rainfall, nutrients and soil quality, but on average, you can expect 3-4 quarts per mature plant.
Is a thornless black berry plant available?
Jerry G on Jul 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is a great variety, and also disease-resistant: //
Will the plants in the gallon container bear fruit sooner? Are they older? Thank you.
Elizabeth Q on Feb 25, 2018
BEST ANSWER: They are one year older and will bear on the sooner side of the "Years to Bear" range posted above.
How many berries should I expect each plant to produce?
MarkG on Jul 1, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Of course, much will depend upon the sunlight, rainfall, food and soil conditions, but on average you can expect about a quart per plant.

Customer Reviews

4.0 / 5.0
21 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Bristol Black Raspberry
I received them in good shape. Planted them and are growing well. However, I am going to pull them out. Berries are too small, and the thorns are too big.

Not what I expected.

Ed Spitzer
June 24, 2016
over 5 years ago
So far so good
At first we were disappointed thinking the live plants would be potted. But, the root clusters were thick and full and the plants were green and leafing out nicely. We planted them immediately with watering every other day that there's no measurable rain. Fenced them in with two foot tall 1/2" square galvanized and covered them on top with same fencing for rabbit protection. Bristols are hard to find, so we were happy you had them. The patch we had at our last home was an amazing producer of huge delicious berries. Looking forward to those days again. When that happens, I'll update our review. Thanks much.
May 23, 2016
over 5 years ago
Poor start
I purchased three bristol and three jewel plants. The jewel performed great. However, the canes sent were spindly and lacked vigor only sening up one or two thin canes. They are doing better this yea, but remain well behind the jewel.
May 9, 2017
over 5 years ago
They all died
They arrived alive and in a timely manner. Unfortunately they all died. None lived through the summer heat. Cannot recommend for a hot climate.
May 6, 2016
over 6 years ago
Healthy berries
Bore several berries the first year with 10 hours of sun daily and heavily mulched
November 12, 2016
over 5 years ago
Bristol Black Raspberry
Although only a few vines lived, we have several vines sprouting up , the mature vines are covered with blooms. I am confident in time , it will become a productive berry patch. I seldom buy anything but Stark. Thanks Randall
May 6, 2016
over 6 years ago
Bristol Black Raspberry
We planted the plants next to an old tree stump and they have set new plants off completely around it now. They set off a lot of new runners in a very short time.The berries are big and make some of the best pies , cobblers, jams and jellies. .
February 12, 2018
over 6 years ago
Healthy raspberry starts
This is the second year for these black raspberry bushes. The are doing great! I expect to get fruit this year. Last year when these arrived, they were medium to large, healthy bare root plants in good condition. I'm very happy with Stark's products. They have the best quality and service!
May 3, 2019
over 3 years ago
The plants arrived with large root systems, large canes, some were already trying to propagate from the roots.
April 15, 2020
1 year ago
Black Raspberry purchase
Somewhat disappointing. All three rooted cuttings started off by dying back to about an inch above ground. They were planted the same day when received. Only two of the three plants actually recovered and grew. Both are now about 15 inches tall and appear strong.
May 22, 2017
over 5 years ago