• 72°

Danelle Cutting: Pruning for a better blackberry

Extension agent

Cutting

Cutting

As most individuals are thinking about all of this winter weather, I am trying to think of how I am going to get all of my pruning finished. For our last article in the pruning series, we will talk about pruning thornless blackberries.

Pruning blackberries can be fairly easy once you know the basic rule of thumb. One major rule is that it is always easier to prune when you start from the beginning. Another rule that counts for any type of pruning is that you can always remove dead, diseased and damaged canes anytime of the year.

To start pruning, you need good, clean tools. For thornless blackberries, you will use loppers and pruning shears. I prefer bypass hand shears so that when I make a cut I do not crush the cane, I want a clean cut.

The next step in determining how to prune your thornless blackberries is knowing what type you have. Most homeowners have what we call floricane producing blackberries, which means that the berries are produced on the second-year canes. Once the canes produce the berries, they die. This makes some of the pruning easy because you need to remove all of the dead canes. Once you prune out the dead canes, make sure you dispose of them properly so that they do not harbor any pests or disease.

I often receive questions about topping the blackberries, so I will briefly mention that if you are trellising your blackberries, most of the tops of the new canes are pruned during the summer time as well as new canes being tied to the trellis, since this is not that time of year, I will write an article when that time approaches.

But in a perfect world you have your berries trellised and you have pruned the tops, the main item that we do during the dormant pruning season (February to early March) is pruning the lateral shoots 12 to 14 inches. Think of laterals as the arms of the large canes. I also like to keep in mind that I am pruning the laterals to be almost the size of a school ruler. Once you get the hang of it, pruning is fairly simple.

When you prune the laterals to 12 to 14 inches, it helps when you are harvesting, produces better quality fruit and the fruit will be larger. If there are lower laterals that are close to the ground, I remove them, as well, because I do not want to be stooping or bending down to pick the berries. It also helps with air flow and a reduction of disease.

Once you have finished pruning your laterals, removed any dead, diseased or damaged ones, make sure you dispose of all of the debris. You can burn or throw in the trash but make sure you have removed the old canes from the property. If you leave in the field, you can continue to create a habitat for disease and pests.

For more information on pruning thornless blackberries contact your local Extension Agent Danelle Cutting at 704-216-8970 or visit:

http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/pruning-and-training-thornless-blackberries/

 

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Education

RSS teachers adapting classrooms to the pandemic

Education

Shoutouts

Coronavirus

County launches paramedic program for those recovering COVID-19

Education

Cooper directs $95.6 million for students affected by COVID-19

Education

RCCC named school on the rise

Local

Conversations get started on planning for diversity mural, street painting

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools welcomes new teachers

Education

Study highlights need to improve food environments around NC’s HBCUs

Coronavirus

County reports new COVID-19 death outside of nursing home

Crime

Man robbed at gunpoint at South Main Street gas station

Business

Embracing the outdoors: downtown restaurants, coffee shops work to expand outdoor seating

Local

Spencer man killed after being knocked into ditch by vehicle on Old Concord Road

Local

Activists talk tear gas ban, renaming police officers, Confederate streets during mock council meeting

Local

Woman found dead in converted swimming pool

Crime

Pair face felony charges for utility trailer theft

News

NC lawmakers want Cooper to seek Trump’s extended benefits

Education

Catawba alumnus Jonathan Barbee throws hat in school board race

Crime

Blotter: August 12

Education

RSS to pay out $240,000 share of CARES Act funds to private schools

Local

Commissioners approve new bonuses to help recruit environmental health specialists

Coronavirus

30 people now positive at Autumn Care nursing home

Local

Greensboro man receives third-degree burns, fire trucks damaged during interstate collision

News

Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Business

Local produce packing company announces recall of citrus, potatoes