Our gooseberry bush this year produced absolutely no berries In previous years it has produced enormous crops. To my knowledge I did nothing unusual this season. I mildly pruned the bush in the fall just as in previous years. I’m perplexed. Any ideas?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. We know how frustrating it is anticipating a bountiful harvest and then being disappointed. Temperature and pruning could be two factors why your bushes did not produce this year.

Gooseberries bloom early in the spring, as a result, a severe frost early in the season can injury blossoms and young developing berries. The spring of 2018 saw above average temperatures in February causing a break in dormancy followed by an ice storm in April. These two factors probably resulted in the destruction of the developing flowers.

Gooseberries bear fruit on 2-3 year old branches, so when pruning, you ideally want a mix of stems that are one, two and three years old. Begin by pruning out the oldest stems to allow space for next summer’s new stems. The main aim when pruning your shrub is to create an open, airy center thus keeing the older fruiting wood productive.

The following links provide general information on the care and pruning of your gooseberry bushes:

Cutting Back Gooseberry Bushes – How And When To Prune Gooseberries