The Q&A Archives: Red Raspberry Bushes

Question: How should older bushes, still bearing fruit, be maintained? How much and when should they be cut back?

Answer: To prune once-bearing red raspberries, remove the canes that bore fruit when they have finished producing for the season. This allows better air circulation and more room for the new shoots. At the same time, thin the new shoots to about four or five canes of at least a half inch diameter. This will leave you with only vigorous new canes for the next year.

In the spring, remove any winter killed tips, and thin the canes again. First remove any smaller than half an inch in diameter by cutting them at the base. Then thin some more, leaving only about four of the thickest canes per linear foot of row.

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