Sad Raspberries

Asked August 25, 2016, 9:50 AM EDT

At the end of it's third season (1.5 seasons in it's current location), our raspberry bush looks sick/sad. It already fruited this season and I've cut down the fruited canes, so all the attached pictures are new canes. The discoloration/disforming of the leaves doesn't quite match any of the diagnostic images on the UMN extension raspberries troubleshooting. And it only appears to be present on the oldest of the new canes. The newest ones, including the runners, don't seem to show anything.

Ramsey County Minnesota plant disease raspberries small fruits

6 Responses

Hi there,
this damage most closely resembles that of herbicide drift, using the manuals I have here in the office. Is that a possibility? It's been about a week since your initial inquiry. What is going on with the plants now? Are the symptoms spreading, plants "growing out of it"?

Herbicide drift is possible, but I had initially counted it out as I thought the new suckers (from initial runners) would have shown symptoms before the established suckers would have.

The two main suckers look even worse, the one to the lower left (see first two pics) might be starting to sour, too. Runners still look healthy, I think. I'll have to take another look when I get home.

Thanks for your help!

Where the damage shows up (new vs establilshed suckers) could vary depending on which herbicide was used and its mode of action (how it works on plant). Already damaged leaves won't heal, but if it is herbicide damage you will likely see that new growth does not continue to show more damagClick for larger imagee as time goes on. when you check your plants, also look for swollen, discolored areas on the stems, with the damage being all on one side of that swollen area. Like in the pic embedded (hopefully worked. I think this is a long shot based on pics, but you should be able to easily rule it out when you check out your plants. Good luck!

Thanks Nicole. Obviously my canes that were toast aren't showing any signs of life, but fortunately, the runners look fine (aside from a little powderly mildew I need to wash off).

However, I'm slightly worried it's a virus and I need to pull out the whole thing before it spreads. See the attached photos. To the left of the bamboo pole, you can see the two main shoots that are toast. At the foot of the pole, you can see another that's shriveled up. To the right and in the back left, you can see two others that appear to possibly be starting to discolor, which I think is how the main canes started their sickness. To the far right and left you can see the runners with dusting of white.

The main issue I want to avoid is whatever this is (if it is indeed something) spreading to the plant next to it (growing from the right). The one on the right is the best raspberry I've ever seen and I want to keep it around, but don't want to pull out a plant that just needs another year.

Second photo just a close-up of the discoloring of the shoots "right and in the back left" from the first photo.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your prior assistance.

Hi again, I hope you are well. I don't think you are dealing with a virus here. But its not always possible to be 100% certain when dealing with pictures. I reviewed all the pictures of raspberry issues on bugwood's IPM images- no matches. I keep coming back to either herbicide drift. You mentioned that was a possibility - do you know which herbicide it might have been? Depending on the active ingredient, it can take a long time for the damage to show up on raspberry.
An alternative, if you want to be sure, is to send parts of your plant to the diagnostic lab in your state. Here is the link:
You can decide if you think it is worth the cost or not.
Typically, virus symptoms will show up all over the leaf, not just on the margins like in some of your pics. There are exceptions to this in raspberry, but those instances dont seem to match up with your pics, either.
So sorry I was not able to be more specific. Next step would likely be a visit to your local extension office or submission to plant clinic- if you do that, I'd love to learn what the results were!
Good luck and thanks for the opportunity to work on this, Nicole

Thanks for your help!