Pruning Blackberry Vines - Knowledgebase Question

Athens, TX
Question by jan_penner
November 30, 1997
Last spring I planted 5 thornless blackberry vines. As I expected, they didn't produce any berries the first year.
Should I still cut any or all of the canes back?


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Answer from NGA
November 30, 1997

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You are correct about cutting out the fruiting canes each year. Even though your plant did not fruit this year, the canes that have completed their second growing season should be removed to make way for new growth. They can be distinguished by their old, crackling bark. The canes that sprouted this past summer will bear the fruit next year. This winter, go ahead and remove those old canes and any excess 1-year-old canes. Also prune back the remaining canes to 4 to 18 inches to make them stronger (leave the thickest ones longest). You can repeat this pruning process every year.

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