How to Dig up Raspberry and Blackberry Plants

Written by krissi maarx
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How to Dig up Raspberry and Blackberry Plants
A shovel dislodges the root system from the earth. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

The proper method for digging up raspberry and blackberry plants depends on your reason for doing so. If you're removing and destroying them due to disease, you can simply rip them from the earth by pulling at the base of the cane. A shovel will remove those that are too large to pull by hand. If, however, you're digging up the canes or the suckers -- offshoots of the parent plant -- for transplanting, you must use extra care.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Gardening trowel

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Instructions

    Digging Up Raspberry or Blackberry Canes

  1. 1

    Insert the shovel's tip in the earth about 6 inches away from the base of the blackberry or raspberry cane, and rock the handle left to right until the shovel head is about five inches deep in the soil. Repeat this on all sides until you have a 12-inch-diameter circle dug around the plant.

  2. 2

    Set the head of the shovel in the circle and pull the handle backward to dislodge the soil and uproot the plant. Repeat this on all sides until the entire root ball is free from the earth.

  3. 3

    Lift the cane, with soil from the pre-existing spot still on the root system, and transplant it to a freshly dug hole.

    Digging Up Raspberry or Blackberry Offshoots

  1. 1

    Dig a 2-inch-deep circle of about 4 inches in diameter around the base of the baby plant with a gardening trowel, using caution not to sever any roots that may protrude from it.

  2. 2

    Locate the roots of the offshoot with your fingertips.

  3. 3

    Follow the roots back to the parent plant, gently removing the bulk of soil away from the roots with your trowel or hands.

  4. 4

    Sever the root of the sucker from the parent plant with the side of the trowel blade or a pair of gardening shears. Pat the dirt back down around the base of the parent cane, and plant the freshly dug offshoot immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • New Mexico State University advises against digging up thornless blackberry canes for transplantation, due to their susceptibility to damage, so consider propagating them through other means if you wish to put them in another location.

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