summer pruning of raspberries

terrynewJune 22, 2012

Hi, all; a newbie to raspberries here. I've been a bad boy, not pruning my old (fruited) raspberry canes last fall or early this spring. But last year was their first year in the ground so there was no clear sign of old brown canes vs green new ones. And this spring, well, life got in the way! But now my two 16' rows of bushes are thick thick thick.

I'm fine on pruning out the weaker/thinner of the new growth, but my dilemma is that I can also now clearly see the old brown canes vs the new green ones. My first thought was to cut out all the old brown canes now, but then I noticed that they have new leaves and white (young) berries, just like the green canes. So at this point, which is probably a few weeks before harvest time, should I just leave Nature to work its way as is, and prune out all the old brown canes this fall?


...Terry in Eastern Ontario

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If you look on there are lots of videos that show how to prune raspberries.

There is a patch of raspberries growing about a mile from my house and the owner never trims, thins, removes canes, or fertilizes them and they produce unreal numbers of raspberries every single year. I thin mine, remove sickly cane, fertilize etc., and my patch does well but his patch does just as well or better by doing nothing at all.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:11PM
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myk1(5 IL)

What variety of raspberries?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Most of the canes are Boyne (June-bearing), Mykl. I understand that "The bush will bear only on one-year-old stems. As soon as canes have produced fruit, prune them back to the ground to make room for the strong new canes. Additional pruning will be required to eliminate tangling and improve their ability to bear." My question is should I do a catch-up early pruning now also or just wait till after they fruit? Things are pretty crowded in there.

I also have a few Pathfinders, which are everbearing fall fruiters on new wood of the current season's growth. Am I right that I shouldn't touch those during the summer, but cut them all to the ground after fall fruit bearing?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 3:02PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I only have everbearers (keeps me from messing up too much).

I would leave them and cut them out as they are done fruiting.

For the everbearers I want the spring crop and the fall crop so I cut last year's canes out as they finish and die off. I only prune the new wood back in the spring to get rid of the dead part.

Thinning can be done whenever.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I would leave them along for now. I find that pulling canes out during the growing season tends to shred the surrounding foliage, and it is hard to see what you are doing.
I do the pruning in late fall once the leaves have dropped, it is easy and fast to see what was a bearing cane that season.

Sometimes in spring I go through again and thin the new canes as buds are breaking and I can see how much winter damage(if any) there has been.

I don't think this system is "right", but it is easy and we have all the berries we can eat, freeze, and jam.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:29PM
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