When to prune new blueberry growth.

edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)May 21, 2012

The new growth on my blueberry bushes is approaching 10". Should I prune the tips or just let them grow? Last year I let them grow and the new growth stopped at about 10" or so. They seem a little more vigorous this year, so I was wondering if I should tip them or just let them go, and prune them next spring if necessary? Thanks. Ed.

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I beleive most pruning on blueberries is done by cane removal, and that is well after they are established. The only time I have tipped them back is with winter injury or something that just got drooping lanky.

Why do you want to tip them? How old are they?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Let them grow. Blueberries usually have two flushes of growth, the first usually stops near berry maturity, where the energy of growth is moved to the berries. Once the berries are gone, then there is a second flush of growth. The first flush gives you next year's buds, and the second may or may not produce fruit the next year. The new canes will usually have the growth tip die off, which is normal. Pruning is usually done in the off season. Unless you have special reasons to prune during the warm season (such as a requirement to keep them short), let them grow. Tall vigorous shoots will give you the best yields.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:48PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Capoman, thanks, that's exactly what happened last year on my Bluecrop. First flush, then at the end of the year a couple of new canes shot up, and sure enough, the tips died off and I snipped the dead tops off. That's why I was asking. Where the tops of last years new shoots were pruned, there are about 6 branches now. Didn't know if I should prune the new branches to get it to branch out even more. I'll leave them alone. Funny, on my Blueray, the tops of last years new canes are full of berries only, and no branches. There are small branches and leaves way down below the berries. I thought that was kind of strange looking, but just left the berries alone, not knowing if I should do anything about it. Thanks again. Ed

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 2:48PM
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