Should I and how should I prune raspberry primocanes damaged in the May 8-9 freeze?

Asked May 17, 2017, 6:07 PM EDT

We have 2 25 foot rows of fall bearing raspberries in our home garden that we prune to have summer and fall berries. They are Heritage and Autumn Britten varieties, 4 years old. The new primocanes were damaged to various extent by the May 8-9 night freezes. The damage ranged from partial leaves to top sections of primocanes to almost entire primocanes. Should I prune the primocanes to promote growth this season? How do I decide what to prune and where to cut? The primocanes are 3-12" tall. I want to have tall and healthy canes for future seasons and I am not too concerned about yields this year. The floricanes suffered little damage from the freeze. I have attached images of 6 damaged plants. Thanks -- Ken

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response

Raspberries generally produce many more primocanes than they can actually support.. I suggest you thin out the ones that have been damaged the most, and leave the others. Cut back the tips of the remaining canes if damaged and leave the rest. you are going to want to thin them to about 6 -10 canes per foot of row anyway.