Ask a Question forum: How to prune black raspberries that arched over and rooted

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Ithaca, NY
tjloredo
Apr 2, 2018 10:30 AM CST
Hi bramble lovers-

I started a bramble patch with black raspberries a few years ago. Last summer was its third summer, and its first with a yummy and productive batch of fruit. I pruned it as recommended in the early spring and early summer (I have a brambles pamphlet, and the AHS pruning book and the Fruit Gardener's Bible). Unfortunately, I was traveling a lot in the late summer and early fall, and neglected the patch. Several of the canes quickly grew long enough to arch over, in some cases with the tip reaching the ground and rooting. In late fall, in hasty prepping for the winter after the first hard frost, I did clear out old canes, but I didn't know what to do about the arches, esp. the ones that rooted, and I just left them.

Now it's early spring, and I don't know what to do with the long arches, esp. the ones with rooted tips. None of my resources cover this. I'm guessing I should prune back the large arches to a few feet tall. Is this right? And what about the rooted tips? Should I dig them up? Can I prune those arches so each end is now its own plant?

I can provide an image of the patch (I tried here, but as a new user I couldn't share the URL in my first post).

Have mercy on this repentant bramble neglecter, and guide me!

Thanks!
Tom
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 2, 2018 10:52 AM CST
Welcome!

You can leave them as new plants. Now that they are rooted, cut the cane behind the new little plant (off the mother plant) to just a couple inches Make sure you cut the OLD cane, not the new. The new little plants will grow up to be duplicates of their parents.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Ithaca, NY
tjloredo
Apr 2, 2018 11:45 AM CST

Thanks for the quick and helpful response, Daisyl!

DaisyI said: Make sure you cut the OLD cane, not the new. The new little plants will grow up to be duplicates of their parents.


Just to be double-sure (I'm possibly confused since there is only one, arched cane): Cut the cane a few inches above the new crown (the tip that rooted last fall). As for the long canes above the old crowns (including the ones that didn't root their tips), I'm guessing I should just prune them to a few feet tall---"topping" them as usual. But I'm not clear on when I should do this. My brambles planting/care guide pamphlet says to top year-old plants at a foot or two around July 1. These are obviously older, larger canes. Since they're already long, should I be topping them now, or should I be waiting until early summer, when they're stronger?

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