Non-fruit-bearing Raspberry Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Stamford, CT
Avatar for sadowsky
Question by sadowsky
July 3, 2000
I had grown red raspberries successfully for many years. Ten years ago, I moved to a new house. My raspberry plants are in a spot which may be too shady, but have done well some years. This year, I noticed among the raspberry plants a number of tall raspberry-looking stems which are definitely not bearing any fruit. They appear to be growing from the same root as the raspberry, but do not look like new shoots. Are these an indication of some sort of problem with the raspberry root? If I just cut them down, will my regular raspberries continue to grow, or are they just new shoots which have grown too fast?

Answer from NGA
July 3, 2000
They may just be very vigorous canes that are responding to the excess moisture we've had in the Northeast this spring. It may also be an indication that the brambles need more light, and are putting a lot of energy into reaching toward it. It's normal for summer-bearing raspberry canes not to blossom and fruit until their second year. If yours are "everbearing" (producing fruit on new canes in the fall, and on those same canes the next summer), then maybe you have some genetic "sports" forming that are different from the rest of the plant (though I doubt this). Are these shoots definintely springing from the crowns of your established canes, or could they be invading wild brambles, such as blackberries? Those are some ideas -- I hope this helps!

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