Dying sections of raspberry plants. - Knowledgebase Question

Buffalo, NY
Question by fczagare
July 6, 1998
My raspberry plants are not doing very well. Last year I noticed that the tops of several canes were dying, about 3 or 4 inches from the top. They looked as if someone has simply snapped them off. I pruned all the second year canes at the end of the growing season. But the same thing appears to be happening again this year.


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Answer from NGA
July 6, 1998

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There are two types of raspberries; summer-bearing, which bear once a year in the summer on two-year old canes; and fall-bearing raspberries which bear twice on each cane - in the autumn of the first year, then in summer of the second year. Summer-bearing plants should produce three to five canes the first year; these will bear the next year and should be cut out at ground level after fruiting. Second year canes will come up all around the parent plant. Fall bearing raspberries will fruit in their first autumn on the top third of the cane and in their second summer on the lower two-thirds of the cane. Cut off the upper portion that has borne fruit and leave the lower portion to bear next spring. Cut out the cane after it has fruited along its whole length. New canes will be produced from the crown of the plant. If canes are wilting at the top there may be a problem with too much water or with poorly draining soil. Make sure your raspberries are planted in full sunshine, and are irrigated deeply once a week in the summertime. If necessary, start a new planting bed by amending the soil with lots of organic matter to facilitate drainage, and replant your raspberries. They should produce by next season.

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