[NAFEX] Pruning Raspberry

Jim Fruth jfruth at uslink.net
Sun Dec 25 08:54:47 EST 2005

    If I may add to Ginda's very excellent advice (below).................,
I prune all of my red raspberries to a height of 5'.  The 5' height usually
ensures that I don't have to reach higher that 6' to pick berries.  If I
prune lower than 5', the berry height is more convenient but I get less of a
    Because I maple maple syrup, from 750 trees, in the Spring, I don't have
alot of time for pruning so I prune my half acre of black raspberries in the
Fall.  Since Fall pruning of black raspberries works so well, I tried
pruning my reds the the Fall too.................BAD MISTAKE!  All of the
canes died back 6" to 10" from the pruned end and they alot bore fewer

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN
Jams, Jellies and Syrups


If you get a large crop from the late summer primocanes, it can make
sense to cut down the canes every fall.  It's easy and can help
control some pests and diseases.  But if you care about your June
crop, you need to leave the one-year old canes until they fruit.

I was just reviewing "The Backyard Berry Book" yesterday, prior to my
winter pruning.  It recommends:

1)  Cutting out the floricanes (2-year old canes) in the fall.
2)  Thinning the remaining primocanes in the winter, to about 3-5
canes per linear feet.
3)  Topping the primocanes in the spring if they are too long and
threaten to flop over.

If I remember, I remove the floricanes in the late summer or fall.
If I don't, I remove them on a warm day in the winter, when I do the
rest of my pruning.  I just removed them yesterday, and also removed
all the weak/short/skinny/scarred floricanes, thinned the remaining
ones to about 5/linear foot, and removed the portion of each cane
that had already fruited last fall.  (I grow Fall Red, and get a
substantial fall crop.)

eastern MA, zone 6

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