Everbearing Raspberries - when / which to prune? (pic)

somegeek(8b Wash)November 29, 2008

Hey folks,

This year we planed some raspberry starters(around July I think?) which took off nicely. The six starters produced full height, loaded canes(floricanes?). We also had a bunch of suckers(primocanes?) come up as well which look to fill the bed nicely.

My question is regard the floricanes, I've read to cut these anywhere from 14" to flush with the ground here in the Fall(now). The starters we purchased were roughly 14" of gray cane with shoots coming out of them. Are there any pros/cons to cutting these to 14" and letting them come back in the Spring?

Is the presence of fruit on a cane the difference between a floricane and a primocane?

Do I need to prune the primocanes that came in this year as suckers but didn't produce any fruit?

Appreciate any input!



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To explain all the details about pruning everbearing raspberries can become tedious, so try this.

If you simply cut everything down to the ground, you will still have raspberries next year, but you will have to wait until autumn. The quick advice is to prune out all 2-year old canes, prune last year's fruiters to below the fruiting point and leave this year's primocanes alone.

The presence of flowers on a cane would more generally and earlier define a floricane; in the case of raspberries you would expect fruit to follow.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:19AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I have both everbearing and main crop raspberries. 2 winters ago, I left some of the canes on the EB ones for an early crop and cut the rest to the ground in early spring. I enjoyed them both. However, last winter I decided to cut them all down since I have the main crop ones too. With our cool summer, it took ages before the EB flowered and the fruit only ripened in October and November. With our damp climate, many of the berries went mouldy and with the lack of sun they aren't as sweet. I do enjoy the fresh berries late in the season but I prefer the main crop and they freeze well, so if all you have is EBs, I would prune for the early berries.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 1:06PM
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you're best to cut the Canes to the ground in the winter after your fall crop. Do not leave the primocanes for a second season. Yes, they will have a bit more fruit, but they delay the next crop and if you really want June bearing fruit, it is best to plant a few Sumner or Willamette types nearby. Eliminating the Floricanes will reduce the problem of Cane borers, since you remove their habitat.
What Fall bearing type do you have?
I like the flavor of Amity best.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I've read a lot about everbearing pruning, but I'm still mixed-up. I live in Mid-Michigan. My fall harvest is getting ready to hit hard. I prune to the ground in early spring -- which gives the big fall harvest, but also a bigger risk of gray mold fruit rot because of cooler/wetter weather then. (Oddly I got some mid-summer fruit anyway.) I've only had my plot a few years, but the past couple years I've lost a third of my crop due to gray mold. I've been trying to fix things by thinning hard and improving ventilation.

My main question is if I should prune out canes and large branches that have small buds on them right now. Are these no-hopers for fall fruit? If they're not going to bear soon then I'm happy to be rid of them because they just impede drying and ventilation for the others.

The bees have been in the patch intensely for the past month. Maybe they've been pollinating hard and their work might still bear fruit this fall?

FYI, I have a plot of 6 rows each 50 feet long. My plants are thinned to one per foot. They're wired up and most are heavy with fruit. My patch is in good, somewhat light soil, well-drained on high ground, but tall trees solidly hem it in 30 feet away on all sides. I need to optimize ventilation and drying, I can tell. I usually get lots of fruit all September and early Oct -- at first frost in mid-Oct things slow down and flavor fades. So my goal is to make sure the next month goes right.

Right now 25% of fruit is becoming pink, the rest is smaller, whiter.

In the past week I've noticed occasional leafy canes and large branches that have no fruit -- I've been pruning those out to improve ventilation.

If the canes with little buds on them will turn into ripe fruit in the next month, I'll leave them. If they're no-hopers, I want 'em gone! If they're just "maybes" for beating the frost then I also can sacrifice them. They're not crowding the others too much, but I can tell that fewer is better.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 12:07PM
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I grow black and red raspberries in SW Washington. I never prune them. They do fantastic. I also don't prune blueberries. There might be good reasons for pruning, but maybe they don't apply in my conditions here.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Somegeek, I've been looking at the photo, and I can predict a couple of problems when the plants get bigger. One, they will make lots of sprouts from the base, and will invade your lawn, unless you make the bed much wider. Two, they will invade your neighbor's yard. If your neighbor doesn't want them, he can just mow them. If he sprays them with Roundup, it could kill the whole plant on both sides of the fence. Believe me, there is nothing petite or delicate about healthy red raspberry plants. They will make a thicket.

Is that a weed barrier at the base of the fence? That might keep them on your side; I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 12:22PM
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