The Q&A Archives: Pruning Raspberry canes

Question: My raspberry plant is out of control. Can I prune it back now?
I understand that canes that bore fruit last year won't bear this year. Will those canes show as dead, or will they leaf and just not produce fruit?

Answer: there are two types of raspberries; summer bearers that produce fruit once a year on two-year old canes, and fall-bearing raspberries with bear twice a year on each cane. The fall-bearing type can be pruned after the berries have been harvested by cutting the cane just below where the fruit formed. The remaining cane will produce another crop of berries in the spring. After harvesting the berries in the spring, cut the cane all the way down to the soil. The summer-bearing plants are pruned a bit differently; they produce canes the first year, which will bear fruit the second year. After the fruit has been harvested, cut the canes down to the ground. You'd probably be better off to get your raspberry plants under control this spring by cutting down all the old canes and allowing the new sprouts to become the new canes. If your plants are summer-bearers, you wont' get fruit this year, but you'll have better control over your plants. If the raspberries are ever-bearing (fall-bearing), then you'll get a crop of fruit this fall if you cut all the old canes down now.

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