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How to Prune Latham Raspberry Plants

By James Young ; Updated September 21, 2017

Latham raspberries bear fruit on their 2-year-old canes. Though some growers do not prune bramble fruits like Latham, pruning increases yields and enhances the quality of the fruit. Simple trellis systems combined with pruning control the size of the beds and contribute to the health of the plants. This combined approach also simplifies harvesting by bringing fruiting canes to the outer edges of the bed. Latham raspberries require pruning twice a year.

Pruning Latham Raspberries

Prune newly planted raspberry canes back to only 6 inches tall. New canes sprout around the old stumps once the plants adapt to the new ground. Raspberries travel when canes grow so long that tips arc to the ground and take root. To control the size of the berry bed trim tall canes back to just under 5 feet in height in late spring of the first year.

Set trellis posts 15 feet apart in the raspberry bed. T-shaped supports should suspend two parallel wires 28 inches apart and 3 feet above the ground along either side of the raspberry bed. Use pliers to wrap the fence wires to the posts.

Tie canes to the wires of the trellises in the fall of the first year. Bending the canes outward to the support wires opens up the center of the bed for next year's new canes. Trellises also place fruit within easy reach for harvesting.

Prune old canes back to the ground after harvesting ends in their second year. Leaving old canes only robs new canes of nourishment. Second-year canes die back naturally after fruiting. If left until winter, the old canes could host raspberry disease organisms and insect pests.

Cut out any new canes sprouting outside the bounds of the raspberry bed. Latham raspberries grow well in a space between 18 inches and 2 feet wide. Each year after harvest cut out all canes which bore fruit. Cut tall canes back and tie new canes to the trellises in the fall.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Post hole digger
  • T-shaped trellis poles
  • Electric fence wire
  • Pliers
  • Garden twine
  • Latham raspberry plants
  • Pruning shears
  • Rake
  • Wheelbarrow or garden cart

Tip

  • In northern growing zones where raspberries suffer winter damage, bend cane tips to the ground in fall and hold the tips in place with shovels of dirt. Snow will cover the arch of the cane and provide good protection against the most severe temperature drops.

About the Author

 

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.