How to prune Black Raspberries

The vines on blackberry bushes are called canes, and they grow for two years. The first year, they are lush vegetation. In year two, they bloom, bare fruit and then die. Prune away old canes every year and keep new canes so they will produce fruit the next growing season. Black raspberries grow like weeds in the wild, and without pruning or tending they are difficult to eradicate. To maximize fruit yield, treat black raspberries with care. But don’t worry too much, the plant will come back just fine the next year if you over-prune or do nothing at all.

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:

  • Garden hose
  • Leather gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Pruning Shears
  • Twine
  • Trash container

    How to Prune Your Black Raspberry Bushes

  1. Step 1

    Rinse berry vines off with a garden hose two days before you plan to prune. Rinsing eliminates, dust and spider webs and encourages pests to leave the area.

  2. Step 2

    Put on a long-sleeved shirt and leather gloves. Black raspberry vines have sharp thorns of two varieties: tiny thorns on new growth that enter the skin like splinters, and thorns on older canes that are akin to the rigid thorns found on rose bushes.

  3. Step 3

    Cut off all canes that produced fruit in the current season at ground level.

  4. Step 4

    Tie new canes to a trellis with twine to encourage their stability prior to the next growing season. Cut them down to 12 inches if you do not have a trellis in place.

  5. Step 5

    Cut trimmed vines into ten-inch sections and carefully discard them in your rigid trashcan. The thorns on black raspberry vines will slice through plastic garbage bags

Thanks to eHow!

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2 Responses to How to prune Black Raspberries

  1. I am looking for some information on pruning the black raspberry bushes we have growing in our back yard. They are large and getting thick. This summer was the second year for them. They produced a lot of berries, and I hope we can keep them going.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Carolyn:

    Most of what I know about cutting back the bushes is here in this post. From what I’ve read, you cut all vines to the ground after year one to encourage root growth. From then on, you cut off the vines that produced fruit (the year old vines) and leave all vines that are new that year so they will produce fruit their second year.

    Good luck to you and please keep me posted on how your vines do over the years.

    Thanks for asking!

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