Blackberry Pruning Guide

This is a general pruning guide for both floricane and primocane fruiting blackberries. Depending on your zone, growing conditions or personal preference, these variables are subject to change.

Recommended Supplies

  • hand pruners for summer pruning and shortening lateral branches
  • loppers for ease with cutting canes at soil level
  • leather gloves for protection from prickles
  • jute twine, tomato clips or plastic ribbon for securing pruned canes

Late Winter through Early Spring

  • With summer bearing (floricane) blackberries, cut damaged, diseased and dead canes which fruited last year down to soil level. Cut short and weak canes down to soil level and thin remaining canes to 3 to 5 per linear foot. Trim lateral canes 12 to 18 inches from the main cane.

  • With fall bearing (primocane) blackberries, for a summer harvest prune the canes to just below where the canes fruited last fall. For a fall harvest only, cut all canes down to soil level.

Mid-Summer

  • For summer bearing (floricane) or fall bearing (primocane) blackberries, prune canes at 3 to 4 feet tall to stimulate lateral growth to increase fruit yield in the following year for summer bearing blackberries and increase fruit yield in the fall on the fall bearing blackberries.

Resources
Indiana Berry - Berry and Plant Guide 2024
Pruning Blackberry Plants - Stark Bro’s

Video Guides
2017 Arkansas Blackberry School
Blackberry Pruning Demonstration University of Kentucky
When to Prune Blackberry Bushes
Primer on Primocanes: A Breakthrough in Blackberries
The Ultimate Primocane Pruning Video

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