The prized Chester Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) is regarded as one of the most cold hardy and high yielding among the Thornless Blackberry Varieties. Chester Blackberries are also quite large and grow up to one inch long. Not only are they the largest fruit of any thornless Blackberry, the fruit is firm, black when ripe, sweet, and retains its shine and juice even in hot weather. They are fast growing and grow best in the ground within USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 9. Chester Blackberry Plants can grow fruit in their first year, and the Blackberries are ready to harvest as soon as July or early August. Chester Blackberry Plants grow to heights of four to six feet tall and three to four feet wide. They are self-pollinating, and prefer full sun or partial shade. Chester Blackberry Plants can grow in many soil types as long as the ground is slightly acidic and drains well. Chester Blackberry Bushes are semi-erect, and can stand on their own while growing in a somewhat arching habit. Plant a few Chester Blackberry Plants in your edible landscape and enjoy cold hardy, heat tolerant, firm, juicy Blackberries that can be eaten fresh, preserved, and used in baked treats.