This frost tolerant blackcurrant bush has exceptionally large blackcurrants on short trusses. Ben Connan blackcurrants have a superb rich, sharp flavour and are ready to crop in early July. Blackcurrants are rich in vitamin C and delicious in puddings, jams and cordials.
The bush itself has a compact habit with good frost, pest and disease resistance.
Soft fruit bushes can be planted close together to create a ‘hedge’ of fruit, or at approx. 1m apart to allow for the individual bushes to stand alone.
Preparing the site
When planting soft fruit bushes, such as a Ben Connan Blackcurrant Bush, it is important to prepare the planting area well. Pot grown soft fruit bushes can be planted at any time of the year. Bare root soft fruit bushes need to be planted between November and March. If you are not planting your bare root soft fruit tree straight away, it is best to ‘heel in’ your tree. Dig a hole in an unused area of soil and pop the roots of the tree in, gently firming around. If you’re planting within a couple of days, you can untie the bag around the roots, water, re-tie and then store in a frost free garage or shed.
Whether planting a pot grown or bare root soft fruit tree it is important to prepare your planting site well. Start by removing all weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole. Then dig a hole slightly deeper than your root mass and approximately 2x as wide. We recommend digging a square hole as this encourages the roots to grow straight as opposed to around inside the hole. To help your tree establish more effectively, we advise applying root grow (sprinkle in the hole for pot grown plants or prepare and apply the gel mixture for bare root plants), especially if you have poor soil. Gently loosen the roots and place into the planting hole.
Using 50% of the original soil and 50% compost (avoiding multi-purpose), fill in the hole and firm around gently. Make sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree as this can cause problems.
If you’re planting in dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. The same goes for spring and summer planting. Make sure to keep an eye on your young fruit bushes and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. To check if the soil requires further water, dig a finger down into the soil, a few centimetres and if the soil feels even slightly moist, it does not need further watering. If it feels dry, water and repeat this test again. Once you see your fruits begin to swell, water again. We also stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.
Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. Using a glyphosate based weed killer or installing mulch matting and bark chips will aid in this. Do not simply mow the grass around the area as this will only encourage it to grow more vigorously.
Soft fruit, including gooseberries, red currants and white currants require some formative pruning followed by a small amount of annual maintenance. In the first year, during early spring, select 5 or 6 main stems and trim back to approximately 15-20cm. Remove the remaining stems by pruning back to 1-3 buds from the ground. In the following year, during summer (June to July), prune back the current year’s growth to approx. five leaves. Soft fruit bushes fruit on older wood so you should not be removing any fruit from your tree, only new growth.
Then, in winter, remove all dead or damaged shoots and cut back the side shoots to about 1-3 buds from the base. Shorten the remaining branch tips by a quarter. Repeat this pruning regime each winter from then on.
All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team and most are delivered within a week of placing the order (please allow up to 12 working days during busy periods). There's no need to be in to receive your order and you can request where it is left via the checkout.
There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date.
Trees on pre-order are still growing and an estimate of when they will be ready is given on the basket page. Orders will be despatched when all trees are ready.
Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.
Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees. For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.
1 small tree (most trees under 1.5 metres in height) : £7.95 + vat
1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat
2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat
1-4 trees delivered by pallet (inc. mature Japanese Maples): £19.95 + vat
The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.
Mature and pleached trees or orders too large for pallet: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode rather than quantity (starts from £48 + vat).
Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.
The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. Below are definitions of terms:
Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.
Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.
Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.
Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.
Multi Stem: A multi stem tree has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.
Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.
Clump: Several plants in one pot that can give the appearance of a multi stemmed and very bushy tree.
Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.
Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height:
Standard either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard 10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard 12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height
|Plant Specification||type||Root type||Price||Quantity Qty|
|2 year old / 30-40cm Bush||3L pot||£12.99 (VAT Free)|