How to Prune a Raspberry Bush

Written by jennifer loucks
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How to Prune a Raspberry Bush
Pruning promotes fruit production. (Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Pruning a raspberry bush promotes new cane growth for a potential increase in berry production the following year. Cutting back and removing canes helps control disease and lowers the risk of spreading problems to other canes. Raspberries produce fruit on 2-year-old canes, making it important to promote new growth for future berry production. The three varieties of raspberries have different pruning requirements based on the fruit production characteristics.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pruning clipper

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Instructions

    Summer Berry Varieties

  1. 1

    Prune the canes to 6 inches tall after planting to promote strong growth during establishment.

  2. 2

    Cut back summer varieties in early spring by removing damaged and weak canes at ground level.

  3. 3

    Shorten tall canes to a height of 5 feet or shorter by removing the ends. Clip off winter-damaged ends on shorter canes.

  4. 4

    Prune berry-producing canes at ground level after the fall harvest. This promotes new cane growth for berry production the following year.

  5. 5

    Prune off canes that appear damaged, diseased or dead during late winter, before they begin to grow in spring.

    Everbearing Varieties

  1. 1

    Prune raspberry canes to a height of 6 inches immediately after planting in the garden. Removing excess cane promotes new growth and a strong plant.

  2. 2

    Cut back everbearing varieties in early spring by removing weak and damaged canes at ground level. This stimulates new growth for a berry harvest in early summer and late summer.

  3. 3

    Monitor the plants during the growing season, and prune out any canes that appear damaged or diseased. Repeat this pruning in late winter, before the canes sprout in spring.

  4. 4

    Cut back everbearing raspberries in spring by removing all canes at ground level if you want one large harvest in late summer.

    Black/Purple Varieties

  1. 1

    Remove lateral branches from the plants in early spring to promote new branch growth for fruit production.

  2. 2

    Clip 3 inches from the ends of new cane growth in July to stimulate new branches off the main stem.

  3. 3

    Prune all fruiting canes after harvest by removing them at ground level to promote new growth for fruit production the following year.

  4. 4

    Remove any canes that appear damaged, diseased or dead during the late winter dormant season. Complete this pruning before the canes begin to grow in spring.

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