Rabbits heavily damaged my raspberries over winter. Will they produce a crop this year?
Purple, black, and summer-bearing red raspberries that have been badly damaged by rabbits will likely produce little fruit this year. (Purple, black, and summer-bearing red raspberries produce fruit on the previous year's shoots. First year growth is strictly vegetative.) The best strategy for home gardeners is to cut off the damaged canes at ground level in early spring. Place chicken wire fencing around the raspberry planting in fall to prevent rabbit damage to the new canes. The raspberries should produce fruit in the following year.
Rabbit browsing should have little effect on the total crop yield of fall-bearing red raspberries. (Fall-bearing raspberries naturally produce two crops. The first crop is produced in late summer/early fall at the tips of the current season's growth. The same canes produce a summer crop in the following year.) Cut back the damaged canes at ground level in early spring. New canes should produce a good crop in late summer/early fall.