Raspberry floricanes suddenly dying

Does anyone know what could be the cause of my floricanes suddenly drying up and dying mid-fruiting while the primocanes are doing fine? Last week I noticed one of my new Canby bushes was dead and the other four were heading that way so I took off all of the fruit and they are hanging in there. Since then, my Heritage bushes have been affected and have quickly dried up.

I was thinking maybe too much water since they are in dense soil and it rained a lot the past few weeks. One thing I noticed, however, is that it only seems to be on the floricanes (which the new bushes are also) and I am assuming root rot would affect the whole plant.

Do an autopsy. Cut them in half lengthwise and look for borers. Pull the root ball and look for signs of insects or whether it rotted.

Raspberries don’t like it too dry and certainly not soggy. You may want to redo the soil with a lot more sand provided that there is an incline where excess water can drain.


It was my experience with red raspberries that root rot caused the floricanes to wilt during fruiting while the primocanes were staying green. The following year will probably be even worse for the current plants. These were planted on level ground in amended but semi-dense soil.

Take pics before they die & post, so people can troubleshoot.
Troubleshooting without pics & without knowing the environment or how they were fertilized, etc, is near impossible.

take a look at this and see if it matches what you are seeing.

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2 weeks ago, a substantial multi-day rain event occurred on much of the east coast. Locally the event saturated my clay-based soil with 5+ inches of rain.

1 week ago, I noticed signs of phytophthora root rot on my raspberries which were planted at ground level. I confirmed the the roots were dead and rotting. I lost a fall gold and a prelude bare root.

@jeremybyington, If you’re in east coast, had rains 2 weeks ago, and have heavy soil, we may be in same boat.

I’m curious once a raspberry patch has signs of phytophthora root rot, what’s the treatment folks employ? Seems the causal fungi is everywhere so finding virgin soil without phytophthora may not be possible. Has anyone tried to mound on top of ground level soil with known phytophthora, and then replanting raspberries in the elevated mound?

I’m planning to do this since I don’t want to move my patch, even though i know phytophthora is in the soil. I’m hoping phytophora will not travel up the mound from soil due better drainage in the mound.

That is definitely what they look like, but only the floricanes. I am 99.99% sure that root rot is the problem. I was just out there on my lunch break earlier and saw that I lost another Canby.

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Yes, definitely a ton more rain in terms of inches than a typical year. For what it is worth, I had planted Fall Gold, Double Gold, and Anne Yellow a couple years ago all next to each other and the Fall Gold and Double Gold just never took off and died out, meanwhile my Anne Yellow is still going strong. You may want to try that variety if you don’t have it already.

My new Canbys that are surviving put out a few fruit and they taste as good as my thorny Heritage variety, so I think what I am going to do is dig up my struggling varieties this winter and mound them up several inches and keep looking for other thornless varieties that taste like Heritage or get some more Anne Yellows.

Thanks for the anecdote. My Fall Gold never took off in the spring either before it died to the big rain. The prelude had winter injury and tried to reshoot from root but died.

I have few other varieties of caneberry that are still alive but not really taking off. I’m also thinking of digging them up carefully and then replanting them in either fabric pots or a compost-based mound.

That is why I plant everything in a borderless raised bed… this is the largest one made so far.


Is that for raspberries? How would you trellis them with a shape like that?

Thanks for the video.

That bed was planted spring 2020…

Che tree, peach tree, apple …goumi …apple goumi …apple… apricot… and 2 jujube.

Including Ouachita blackberries red and gold and black raspberries. The raspberries have thrived. I started 6 in 2020… bet I have 60 now.

Vtrellis is how I manage my raspberries.

That is a small ( 8 ft ) V trellis bed I setup last year.

In that longer bed between fruit trees… I have 3 V trellis setup… thick with raspberries now… they are fruiting heavily now and new primocanes are coming up too.


This is what the north west end of that bed looks like now… I converted it to pine bark mulch this spring.

There are 2 jujube trees on the end and you can see the end of a raspberry bed V trellis.

I started 3 heritage reds there last spring in that V trellis… and last summer and fall they traveled down that bed by root shoots and invaded my jujube space.

Reds will travel…


That is super nice. With enough mulch that thing will hold water beautifully.

Bark is not the greatest mulch. Yes it last, because it has compounds to hinder bacteria from doing its job, a job you want it to be doing in the soil. The plants will put up with it but if you want the most ideal condition switch to green mulch from sub 2" branches. 75% of minerals collected by trees are on these branches and as they decompose it returns those minerals to the soil. Plus young branches lack the bacteria-killing tannins that is not desirable in your soil.

Once the root rot pathogen is in the soil, it can remain for a long time. After my initial plantings of ‘Chilliwack’ and ‘Tulameen’ rotted out, I let several years pass. The next red raspberry planting did no better. Then we planted ‘Meeker’ in a raised bed that had sandy light soil for many years. Now in year 3, there has been no loss in vigor. At the local experimental station NWREC, they plant raspberries in sandy soil with the row bermed up a good 8" above the inter-row pathways.

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@don1357 … bought a wood chipper… plan to chip and shred my own material to use for mulch going forward… as much as possible anyway.

I have plenty of young saplings, bushes and brush in the edge of my fields… a never ending supply of stuff to chip and shred.

Pine bark mulch was just a start… easy and not too expensive. It has worked well so far… very little has come up thru it … cardboard layer under it.

I think the pathogen is in the soil for us long before raspberries were planted, so i don’t think pathogen like Phytophthora will ever disappear.

This is what I’d like to try as well, but on smaller scale.

@TNHunter … I’m curious about your V-trellis. I can see where it would increase sunshine for the berries. I’d like to know why you prefer over other methods.

@fieldsofgreen … I prefer the V trellis because I could see immediatly that it was better than what I was doing.

Initially I just had a tpost on each end with a wire at 24 and 48 inches.

That works… but when you have canes fruiting and primocanes coming up and getting to that 5 ft tall mark… at the same time it really just gets too crowded and is difficult to manage and those new pcanes don’t get as much sunshine as they would like.

I first saw the improvement the VTrellis offered when I found this YouTube vid from Univ of Maine.

Watch it to the end… he explains the advantages well.


@TNHunter I like your borderless raised bed- how high is it?