Time to prune raspberry canes


Is it too late to prune my raspberry plants (May 1st)? They have leaves already, and are 4-5 feet tall. I guess it’s too late to cut them down?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master gardeners regarding the spring pruning of your raspberry canes. Included are links to two excellent articles describing the care of raspberry plants: a university document and an article from Fine Gardening magazine which has the benefit also of photographs illustrating the method. Both articles cover the care of red, black, and ever-bearing varieties.

While neither specifically deals with your concern about timing, the perennial nature of the plants suggests that you could successfully cut back the plants now (Fine Gardening suggests to chest-height) and the canes will continue to put on fruiting growth.



It is important to give the plants a constant water supply while they are growing. An organic mulch such as compost or well rotted manure will give the plants a nutritious boost while also helping to retain soil moisture.

We hope that you enjoy a plentiful harvest of juicy fruit.