Should raspberry be thinned?

ColoradoSteph(5)May 23, 2013

I planted this Heritage Raspberry last Spring. Should the new canes coming up be thinned?? Should I cut back last years canes that now appear dead?

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Erich_k(6b)

If you don't mind a singular fall crop you can prune away the old canes.

If you want 2 separate crops you could keep the old canes. It is hard to see in the picture but do the old canes have buds coming out of the old leaf stems? if they do they can still produce.

If you choose to keep them find the point in the stems where the buds stop and cut off the top.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:28AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Those three old stems look dead. They will be easier to remove now than after the new canes get bigger. After a while you will understand the growth and production cycle and which canes to remove when. Once they are spent it is best to remove them. There are enough thorns without having ones on dead wood.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:41AM
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ColoradoSteph(5)

Great, thanks! I think they are dead, but will take another close look just to be sure and then cut the old canes off.

So how about thinning the new growth? There are quite a few new canes coming up, will they be too crowded to grow well? I want the most berries I can get off this plant. :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:52PM
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fitzefatz(6)

Cut the old ones at ground level. And yes, you should thin them. Even better, take a spade and remove the canes at the periphery and put them in the ground at 1 1/2 feet away and create a nice row of raspberry plants for more berry goodness in the future. Rule of thumb are 3 thick canes per foot of row. Cut the others at ground level. on Such a big healthy plant I would try to increase my berry patch (if I had the room for it). Thin down to like 7 good canes and a few weeks later remove another 2 or 3.
You will need to use the spade in future years, because raspberries spread (they cover huge forest clear cuts in a couple of years). And Heritage is a primocane variety, so they fruit on this year's canes. Once they have fruited, cut the old canes at ground level in winter/spring.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:23PM
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Erich_k(6b)

I think it is interesting that the majority of people practice the complete to ground pruning method for everbearing types.

I like the double pruning method since it gives you 2 crops, but i wonder which edges out in total production. since you get a larger fall harvest if you do the to ground pruning

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:43PM
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ColoradoSteph(5)

Thanks so much for the details on what to do. I'm very new to this! I watched some you tube videos last night and it is all coming together. It looks as simple as it sounds. :)

So the outlier in the front I am going to transplant and put it so it is in the row. The outlier on the right side of the picture is already in the row probably a foot away... do I need to transplant it anyway so that it becomes it's own plant?

Is there any way to transplant some of the canes from the clump in the center or do they just have to be cut down?

Thanks again for so much helpful advice.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:11AM
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melikeeatplants

You get less berries buy mowing down the canes each year on primocanes. The fall crop is larger but not as big as the spring and smaller fall crop combined from not mowing down.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:52AM
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curtis(5)

In my 4th year of mine I have a lot of density only remove the shoots that grow outside the allowed area. (talking about new shoots) The bush gets dense but each cane produces the same as if a thinner bush. For fungus I do make sure it is open at ground level for air flow underneath to keep it dry, plus water at ground level.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:23AM
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