Raspberry trellis wire gauge

Asked April 25, 2013, 7:39 PM EDT

Hi, I'm building a "T" trellis for my ever bearing raspberries with cedar posts and wire. The row is about 25 feet long. I will have 4x4" posts on either end and two 2x4" cross posts with wire stretched between them. My question is: what gauge wire will I need to support the weight of my bushes? Also, I'm confused about how wide and tall to place the support wires. After looking at a few websites I was thinking about placing a lower bar at 30" above the ground and 16" wide, and a second one about 48" high and 36" wide. Does this seem good? I'm not sure what variety I'm dealing with but last year they were unsupported and a total mess. Finally, how wide should I allow my patch to get. Right now it's about 3' wide but I read I should not let it get more than about 16" wide. Thinning to this width would really limit the number of shoots I'd have for this season. Thanks! Sean Hoffman Eugene OR

Lane County Oregon fruits and vegetables fruits and berries horticulture

5 Responses

Q1 - wire that is 3-5 mm will do fine or any high tensil wire or grape wire will do.

Q2 - The placement of wires that you have described is good. Many people will tie the bushes to the top wire to keep them mostly inside the wires.

Q3 - 2-3 foot max. wideth. Actually iy doesn't matter but the wider it becomes, the more difficult to manage and pick. 2-3 foot is a good wideth. Anything outside the 2-3 foot wideth needs to be removed each year.

Thank you for your thoughts! Another couple quick questions: how much thinning of my shoots should I do? Is there a target shoots/square foot? Also, as new baby shoots continue to arrive, should I be removing them so the plants focus their energy on the established shoots?

I saw a video on blackberry growing and the gentleman was removing the lower ground level leaves from his established shoots to prevent disease. Is this recommended for raspberries at all? I'm using drip irrigation so they wont be too moist down there.

Finally, fertilizing: I read to apply a 10-10-10 in April. I'm new to fertilizer and don't know how to get the right concentration. Do you know of a good primer on using fertilizers?

Thanks again! Sean

Do not remove the baby shoots as these are the primocane for next year. About 1/3 can be removed to keep the numbers under control.

Black and raspberries - no need to remove the lower leaves, it doesn't help with disease control, drip is the best disease control.

Fertilizer - use 16-16-16, in April 15. About one cup per 5-8 foo of row of berries.

Thanks, this is very helpful info! I should have specified that I mowed to the ground all of last years canes in the fall. All the shoots I have now are new growth. Some areas are getting pretty crowded. Should I deal with this by training them on the wires to spread them out or thin to a certain number per square foot?


Thin the bunch out each year, usually in the spring around May.
Havbe enought ot supply the needed berries, keep within the 16 inch base.

Tie the older canes to the wire between October-March.

Drop the OSU Lane County Extension office, we have very good pubs on raspberries and blackberries. 7983 Grant Street, between Garfield and Chambers, T-Th 10-1 and 2-5pm.