My raspberries (above) give me two crops a year. The first crop is on the second year canes and the second crop (coming soon) is on the first year canes. After fruiting the second year, the canes die. But don’t worry, new canes will form in the “crown” which will live many years, producing new canes each year. New canes grow out of the top of the crown and roots grow from the bottom of the crown. And if that is not enough the roots can also develop new canes (this is a special root called a “stolon” or runner).
In the photo above two of the first year canes are labeled and if you look closely, raspberries are forming at the top of the canes. This year my first year canes are reaching heights up to 8 feet.
The first crop of raspberries each year is on canes in their second year of life. In the second year, side shoots grow up and down the entire cane except the top part where the fruit grew the previous year. After the fruit ripens, the entire cane starts to die – note the yellowing leaves in the picture above. Those are the second year canes
In winter I will cut down all the dead second year canes to 1) reduce risk of bacteria infections, 2) give the new canes more room and 3) make it easier to pick next year’s berries.
So that’s the life cycle of my raspberries plants. Class dismissed.
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