The Q&A Archives: Pruning Raspberries

Question: We have a several year old patch of yellow raspberries (fall gold variety). When and how is the best way to prune the canes and should the plants be thinned?

Answer: Fall-bearing raspberries are easy to prune because you don't have to decide which canes to save; just cut all of the canes down to ground level after the leaves drop off in the fall. Don't leave stubs, or the buds will sprout in the spring and develop into weak, unproductive branches. New canes will grow from the roots of your raspberry plants in the spring and those canes will produce berries in the fall. After the leaves drop, cut the canes down to ground level again, and new canes will develop the following spring. If your raspberries are overcrowded, you can divide them in the fall or very early spring. Simply dig the clump of roots out, pull or cut apart, and replant the divisions 12" - 15" apart.

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