How to Prune Black Raspberry Plants


Black raspberries are pruned very differently than red raspberries. Black raspberries grow on canes that grew the previous year. Because of this, you will want to train and prune your new raspberry canes for optimal production the following year. Pruning your black raspberry bush is not difficult. By pruning the bush or bushes three times over the year, you will ensure optimal plant health and growth.

Step 1

Prune your black raspberries three times a year. Pruning three times a year will ensure optimum fruit production and plant health.

Step 2

Cut the lateral branches back to eight to ten inches in the spring. This will encourage good new growth and minimize energy and nutrient use by non-fruit-producing branches. Prune the canes back with a pair of pruning shears.

Step 3

Tip new canes by removing the top two to three inches of new growth in mid-summer. If you are growing your black raspberries without supports, tip them when they reach 24 inches high. Tip the raspberries with a pair of pruning shears.

Step 4

Prune out the canes that have produced fruit right after harvest by clipping them off near the ground with a pair of pruning shears. Black raspberries produce fruit on the previous year's growth. Your summer pruning and preparation affected the canes that will carry next year's raspberry crop.

Things You'll Need

  • Established black raspberries
  • Pruning shears


  • Ohio State University Extension: Raspberries for the Backyard Fruit Planting
  • University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Sevice: Pruning Raspberries and Blackberries in Home Gardens
  • Penn State Agricultural Extension: Raspberries: Pruning & Training Bushes

Who Can Help

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Growing Raspberries and Blackberries
  • Michigan Agricultural Extension Division: Pruning Black Raspberries
Keywords: black raspberry care, raspberry bush cultivation, raspberry cane pruning

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.