I just bought a house with raspberry canes planted in the back yard.
I would like to prune and properly maintain them for next year, but I don't
know which variety they are.
How can I tell whether they are summer bearing or autumn bearing canes?
You could mow them all to the ground this fall and then, if you get no
berries at all next year, they were summer bearing.
OK, let me think of something less drastic....
Look at the canes. If they are fall bearing, all the canes will have
fruited. If half of the canes look like they only had leaves and the
other half (more or less) show signs of used flower/fruit clusters, then
it is summer bearing. How's that?
PS If you decide they ARE summer bearing, then cut out the used up canes
and leave a good number of the new ones.
Fall or everbearing varieties would have the remnants of berry-producing
at the top of the feshest canes (with reddish bark). These young canes,
which will produce an early summer crop next year, may also still retain
some yellowing leaves. Older canes which produced an early summer
will have long dried up in the late summer and will have a silvery, dead
The easiest thing to do is leave everything in place until early spring,
then cut out anything that doesn't show fresh buds, and thin out the
remaining canes. I prune my fall bearer to allow both an early crop
and a late summer crop.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
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