Blueberry Bush Virginia Berry Farm
Pruning

BLUEBERRIES

Blueberry canes are most productive when they are between 3 & 6 years old.  Prune toward the end of winter dormancy, but not in fall. In 1st year in field all fruit buds should be removed to force vegetative growth (you will recognize these because they are plumper than the vegetative buds and are on the tips of the branches).  The 1st year or 2 should be spent establishing the frame & root system.   Plants w/erect or upright habit (Bluecrop, Elliott, Jersey) tend to become dense in the center, causing shaping that reduces shoot formation and flower bud initiation.  Remove older center canes, and prune excessive inward-pointing laterals back to the main canes.  Keep center from becoming too dense.  Plants that are very vigorous (Blueray) benefit from the removal of whole canes at the base rather than detail pruning.    Old, unattended plants can be rejuvenated by cutting back ½ the canes in 1 year and half in the 2nd year.

Helpful Blueberry Pruning links: 

Pruning Blueberries in the Home Garden - Ohio State University

Pruning Blueberries - University of Tennessee

Blueberry Pruning - University of Connecticut

 

RASPBERRIES

 

Summer-bearing red raspberries require no summer pruning (except the removal of spent floricanes).  Mow down any suckers that appear in the lawn.  Dormant pruning of dead, damaged, or weak canes can be done any time the canes are fully dormant (December through March in the northern US).  Create beds 12 to 18 inches wide to maximize sunlight penetration.  Thin canes to about one cane every 4 to 6 inches within the row.  Tip remaining canes to 4 to 5 feet, removing about the top 1/4 of each cane.

 

Black and purple raspberries require summer tipping as well as removal of spent floricanes.  Remove tips 1t 40 - 48 inches.  Do this early in the season.  All dead, damaged, and weak canes should be removed from dormant black raspberry plants.  Thin remaining canes to 5 to 10 per plant.  Head back lateral branches to 4 - 6 inches for black raspberries or 6 - 10 inches for purple ones.

 

Here is a helpful article from Fine Gardening:  Reliable Raspberries - Fine Gardening Article

 

BLACKBERRIES

 

Blackberries should be pruned similarly to black and purple raspberries:  tipped back to 40 - 48 inches in summer, laterals cut back to 12 - 18 inches.  During dormant season thin to about 10 inches apart. 

blackberry production

GRAPES

To be most productive, grapes should be pruned and trained to a definite system.  Two of the most popular, vertical trellis and overhead arbor, are both satisfactory for home planting if kept well pruned.

pruning_grapes

Vertical trellis which is the single trunk, four-arm Kniffin system is the most popular for commercial growing.  Posts should be set 15 to 20 feet apart and approximately 5 foot high.  Two wires are stretched between the posts, the lower at about 2 1/2 feet and the other at the top of the posts.  The vine is trained to a single trunk with four semi-permanent arms, one arm trained in each direction on both lower and upper wires.  Each arm is cut back to 6 to 10 inches in length.

During the dormant pruning, one cane is saved from summer growth near the base of each arm.  This cane is cut back to about 10 buds which will produce the fruit in the coming season.  A renewal spur is selected from another cane from each arm near the trunk.  This should grow vigorously and will be the new fruiting cane for the next season.

The same training and pruning may be used for the arbor system.  The only difference is that the wires are all placed overhead and parallel with each other.  Posts are usually about 6 to 7 feet above ground.

Pruning may be done anytime after the vines have gone dormant.  If there is any danger of winter injury, pruning should be delayed until early spring.

Here are some helpful links about grape pruning:

Basic Principles of Pruning Backyard Grapes - Ohio State University

 

Fruit Trees

Here are some helpful links:

Training & Pruning Apple trees - VA Cooperative Extension

Pruning Peach Trees - VA Cooperative Extension

Pruning & Training Apple & Pear Trees - HGIC @ Clemson University

Training and Pruning Fruit Trees