How to prune raspberries for a good harvest

Garden raspberry, although it is considered an unpretentious shrub, but on the quality of the soil, watering and timely fertilizers, it responds with fragrant, tasty berries. Pruning raspberries is the main part of her care. The harvest of the plant next year depends on the correctness and timeliness of this procedure. If you do not regularly prune raspberries, in a few years you will get dense thickets of branches that give a poor harvest.

Why and when raspberries are cut

Raspberries should not be allowed to grow strongly. The best distance between the bushes is 6 cm, because the old branches will interfere with the active growth of new ones. If the distance is shorter, the extra stems can be safely cut off, leaving only the healthier ones. If you do not cut dead branches, the bushes will look sloppy.

So that the berries do not ripen at the same time, but gradually throughout the summer, some of the bushes are cut to 10-15 cm, the second part to half the height of the plants, and the rest leave shoots 15-20 cm long.

The procedure is performed for various purposes:

  • thinned out to maintain an attractive appearance, also for ease of care and collection;
  • sanitary pruning is necessary to remove branches affected by winter frosts, diseases and pests.

Raspberry pruning is done not only to prevent overgrowing of the bush. In combination with proper care, this event guarantees the health of the plant and a rich harvest. Pruning old branches is a rejuvenation procedure in order to stimulate the growth of new shoots.

 Thinned out to keep an attractive appearance

Pruning is carried out in spring, autumn and even summer. The formation of the bush begins no earlier than the second growth season. In the first year of growth, pruning is not carried out in the fall. Damaged shoots should simply be removed in the spring (if any). If they are not cut, such bushes grow strongly, invade neighboring plantings and protrude onto roads.

Note! Be sure to carry out annual pruning of raspberries. Only with the help of pruning, you can not only renew raspberries, but also increase productivity. Without the timely removal of old shoots, the supply of nutrients to young shoots decreases, and the yield of the entire bush decreases.

It is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the time of year. Specific dates should be chosen based on the climatic features of the region. The first phase occurs at the end of March – the beginning of April, when the bush has not yet swollen buds. If you need to rejuvenate the plant, it is best to do this in March or April. Then raspberries will give new shoots this season.

The second period lasts from the end of May to the beginning of June. During the summer, the bush grows. After harvesting or in early October, 15-20 days before frost, all two-year-old shoots that have already produced berries are completely cut off. The lighting of the bushes improves, which has a positive effect on the growth of raspberries.


Additional Information! The development cycle of raspberries is 2 years. Old raspberries for two years of operation are cut at the root at ground level, thus protecting it from infections and pests. You can distinguish old stems by hard bark, which exfoliates.

Pruning is carried out with a sharp secateurs with a comfortable handle. Before this, it is desirable to treat the blades with an antiseptic. The work is carried out with gloves.

Raspberry pruning in spring

Before the appearance of the kidneys, you can carry out spring pruning of raspberries. Spring pruning is the key to a good harvest. At the first spring pruning, all frozen, broken, weak and diseased branches are completely removed.

Raspberry branches are tied up, pulling the wire at a height of about 30, 100 and 170 cm, respectively. During the season, the shoots are fixed vertically to all three tension wires. All vegetation around young shoots is removed completely so that they receive all the nutrients.

 Raspberry tied up

How to prune summer raspberries?

Two generations of shoots always grow on the same trellis: fruit-bearing shoots from the previous year and new shoots for the next year’s harvest. For this reason, it is useful to cut old stems in the middle of summer at ground level, just after the last harvest. On the one hand, there is no risk of accidentally removing young branches, and on the other hand, new ones will have more space to develop on the trellis.

Why prune raspberries in the fall?

For the winter, pruning is done so that the bush has time to recover, and in the spring it gives new shoots.

To be cut:

  • young and weak shoots not ready to survive the winter;
  • sick and with pests;
  • two-year-old shoots from which fruits have already been harvested:
  • broken or improperly developed stems;
  • overly thickened branches.

In October, 2-3 weeks before frost, all old stems are removed at the root level, leaving only young and strong ones. Everything else will interfere with their good nutrition. It is necessary to remove the shoots that do not overwinter, frosts will destroy it. In strong stems, the top is cut off by 20-30 cm.

Additional Information! The result of pruning is a significantly thinned bush, consisting only of young, but already well-developed shoots. With full pruning, the risk of transmission of shoot disease is largely eliminated. New, healthy shoots will sprout from the rootstock next spring.

How to feed raspberries in autumn after pruning? During the fruiting period, a large amount of nutrients is drawn from the raspberry bushes. Autumn top dressing of raspberries is a must. Feed with organic fertilizers: manure, bird droppings, compost, peat.

After top dressing, the soil is covered with a special mulching material. After the raspberries are cut and the remains of the leaves are removed, you can bend the branches to the ground, and thus protect the raspberries from severe frosts.

Proper pruning of raspberries depending on the variety

Features of pruning bushes depend on the variety. Classic summer varieties bloom and bear fruit only on shoots that appeared last year. They bear fruit much earlier and usually have larger berries.

Remontant raspberries are a group of raspberry varieties that have the ability to bear fruit on both annual and biennial shoots and produce two crops in one season. For autumn raspberries, about twice as many young shoots are left in spring as opposed to summer ones.

 Repair raspberry

If cut in the same way as the summer shoot (not cut after the autumn harvest), these shoots will bear fruit a second time next year at the beginning of summer.

Pruning remontant raspberries

  • In late March – early April, they make a sanitary haircut, removing diseased, dried branches. All healthy, large ones are shortened to a length of 15 cm, leaving at least four healthy kidneys on them.
  • In late May – early June, a bush is formed, leaving 5-6 strong branches and shortening the shoots of medium length by half.
  • In autumn, two-year-old branches are cut after the second harvest.

To get two crops, you need to do a partial pruning of the shoots. The first harvest, on two-year-old shoots, is relatively small. After the end of fruiting, they must be cut immediately so that they do not take food from annual shoots, as well as improve ventilation and illumination in the row. Raspberries continue to develop annual shoots, on which there will be a second harvest – autumn.

How to care for raspberries after pruning

Raspberry plant needs care after pruning, as it is injured. Sprinkle wounds with ash or crushed activated carbon.

You can also treat with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. After autumn pruning, it is recommended to pinch all the tops of the remaining stems to stop their growth. Thanks to this, they will have time to prepare for the cold season.

Throw away all cut branches and leaves as far as possible from the place where the bush grows. It is better to burn them so that the spores of fungi and other pests do not overwinter.

It is necessary to monitor raspberry bushes: remove shoots every year. Proper pruning of raspberries will allow you to harvest a good harvest every year.