Cutting back berry-bearing shrubs

Garden Life
Berry-bearing shrubs are highly popular in gardens. Many shrubs are relatively easy to care for, and their fruit is very healthy. However, it is important that you prune your berry-bearing shrubs, so that the harvest remains good. When purchasing berry-bearing shrubs, please ensure that they are resistant to fungi and parasites. The optimum planting time for most berry-bearing shrubs is late autumn, in the months from September to October.
As soon as the berry-bearing shrubs have been harvested, they can be thinned out. The time to cut them back extends from after harvest to March at the latest. Thinning out retains the vitality and health of the plants. The sun can also reach the new fruits better next year, which has a positive effect on their taste.
The harvested canes and shoots are cut off close to the ground. In addition, the weaker young, green shoots are removed. Canes which stand too close to one another should also be cut off. However, different shrubs require different methods of thinning out.


On blackberries, all those canes are cut off which are more than a year old, and which have already borne fruit. The newly-formed side shoots are shortened and cut back.
However, during colder winters the old canes provide effective protection for the younger ones against the winter sun, and should therefore not be removed until spring.


The harvested canes are cut off close to the ground. Raspberries bear fruit once a year on the previous year’s shoots, meaning those which grew over the last year. For this reason, they can be removed completely after harvesting. In addition, weaker, young shoots should be removed. Approximately six main canes should be left standing per plant.


Fully grown gooseberries should have approximately eight one to two-year shoots, and only a few main shoots. All older branches can then be removed close to the ground.
In order to create this base in a young shrub, leave three to four of the strongest new shoots which have grown out of the base uncut per year. All other new shoots are to be cut off directly over the ground. The aim of the base is that this will later consists of approximately eight main shoots.
When the base has been developed, two to three of the oldest main shoots must be removed per year, close to the ground. These are replaced by the same number of strong new shoots – all other newly-formed shoots should simply be cut off just above the ground.