Pruning Raspberries

We have 2 different types of raspberries in the Demo Garden: ‘Caroline,’ a fall-bearing red raspberry, and a mystery variety of a summer-bearing black raspberry. After last year, I have totally fallen in love with ‘Caroline.‘ The black raspberry though…I have a feeling that its life is coming to an end in our garden. It’s going to have to do significantly better than 4 small berries this summer to prove its worth!

The thicket that is the black raspberries. Yikes! Definitely some work to do here. There were rooted branches all the way back to the lattice wall behind the currant bushes. Ugh.

The red raspberries are also a bit of a jungle, but not quite so bad, since the canes are primarily upright.

I love pruning the fall bearing raspberries! All you have to do is prune them back to the ground, and the job is done! So easy. So simple. Minimal scratches on the arms.

These nasty black raspberries, on the other hand…First we pruned out all the dead canes. Then we pruned back all the branches and side shoots that were longer than 3-4 feet. Next we pruned out all but the 3 or 4 strongest canes in each of the two clumps. Finally, we tied the canes up so they can’t reach the ground and root again!

There. They look much better. Less like a crazy, dangerous thicket, and more like well-behaved raspberry bushes. Right.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on March 26, 2010, in Working in the Garden and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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