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Raspberries post-harvest pruning

After the harvest, it is necessary to remove the stripped raspberry canes and cut them right down to the ground. Here, the instruction to cut the canes to a hand’s width above the ground has been regarded as outdated since raspberry cane blight has become one of the major diseases in the raspberry bed.

Therefore, towards the end of the raspberry harvest, remove all harvested shoots and thin out the young shoots to approx. 12 to 15 canes per running metre of raspberry plants. Depending on the humid micro-climate on site, aim rather for the lower number or fewer (down to eight to ten canes per running metre). The better the plants dry out after precipitation, the lower the intensity of infestation due to the fungus which causes the disease.

Generally speaking, summer-bearing raspberry varieties are generally more at risk of being affected by raspberry cane blight. Here it may be necessary to also completely remove infected, i.e. dying, shoots before the harvest.

For this reason, it is recommended to plant autumn-bearing raspberry varieties, which ripen from mid-August onwards. These are then not only guaranteed to be free of grubs but are also much easier to cut. In November, after the leaves have fallen, simply cut off the whole bush with all its shoots directly above the ground. For the autumn-bearing raspberry varieties, a less elaborate support frame than that required for summer-bearing varieties is also sufficient, because the canes of the autumn varieties do not grow as long.

Tip: As with raspberry canes, especially when cutting fruit trees of all types, avoid transferring pathogens such as viruses or fungal spores by thorough disinfection of your cutting tools before moving from tree to tree or bush to bush. This is most easily done by completely immersing the blade of the tool in methylated spirits.

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