Raspberries being decimated!

Asked July 15, 2013, 3:26 PM EDT

Hi! I moved into a house 3.5 years ago with an already established raspberry patch. They are ever-bearing and for the last two summers have been amazing - my freezer is still full of the large, delicious fruit from last year's harvests. Unfortunately, they are not faring well this year. In the spring I noticed a few of the young canes on one side of the patch drying up and dying. As the season has progressed, so has the problem, and now almost my entire bed is gone. It starts with some leaf yellowing (old and new stalks - doesn't seem to matter) on the edges, then the whole plant gets a little pale. On last year's canes, the lower leaves then start to turn completely yellow and droop. The cane then turns brown and eventually all the leaves dry up. Three times now (the last this past weekend), I've pruned all the dead stuff out, and this past weekend also pulled any plants that looked like they were in the beginning stages. I now only have a few of last fall's canes, and some very new little plants (6" or so). I should mention, I amended the soil with compost last year and put in a watering system, so it shouldn't be lack of nutrients or water. What is going on? Is there any way to stop it from attacking what's left? If I need to eradicate, how do I make sure the problem is gone before I buy and plant new canes? Thanks!

Lane County Oregon

2 Responses

This is called raspberry root rot. It is very common with raspberries in western Oregon..

http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/raspberry-rubus-sp-root-rot

Most raspberries after a few years get this disease, and especilly after the wet-tish last three years. People primarily plant raspberries in very well drained raised beds which can prolong the life of the raspberries. Do not use heavy mulch or heavy composts.

See the above web site.

The OSU Extension Service - Lane County office is open Saturdays from 10a-1p for a positive ID.

They are at 783 Grant Street, between Chambers and Garfield at the Rainbow Valley Design and Construction building.