[nafex] red raspberries problem

victoria l. caron vicaron at gis.net
Mon Jul 23 08:24:19 EDT 2001

Several years ago I rooted two cuttings of red raspberry from a local
wild strain that acquaintances had dug up in a clear cut. The berries
are large (penny to nickel size) and mostly round though it is not
unusual for some at the top of the cane to be longer and somewhat
pointed. Flavor is more tart than some of the named cultivars making
them great for jelly and pies.
The spring after the cuttings were rooted I dug up all the new shoots
(35) and planted them 15" apart in the row. I keep them pruned to 5-7
primocanes per foot and try to keep the spent canes cut out.
I am trying to figure out why some stretches of row are productive,
while others are barren. I think I have taken all the obvious into
My theories include:
-I know the soil was too rich at first and this could still be true in
some spots which could be one reason for the lack of productivity. In
the wild, raspberries and blackberries seem to do best in well drained
soils with awesome size where there is an accumulation of bark mulch on
the fringes of logging yards.
-Then there is always virus which shows up in wild varieties, but can a
virus cause a total lack of production?
-I have cane borer and either that or a virus just turns the whole cane
dead in no time. This can be seen throughout the row. I haven't worried
too much about it since I have to prune out so much new growth to keep
within the guidelines for red raspberries anyway.
-Another clue maybe is that the more productive areas in fruit are also
the ones that are sending out many more new canes to the side than other
parts of the row.
Does anyone want to toss this problem around? I'm just trying to decide
if I should dig up the plants I'm wasting my time on.
vic NH zone 3


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