What is the proper way to prune yellow raspberries in late winter/early spring?
There are summer-bearing and fall-bearing yellow raspberry varieties. ‘Honey Queen’ is a summer-bearing variety. Fall-bearing yellow raspberry varieties include ‘Fall Gold,’ ‘Golden Harvest,’ and ‘Anne.’
The pruning of summer-bearing yellow raspberries involves removing all weak, diseased, and damaged canes at ground level. Leave the most vigorous canes, those approximately 1/4 inch in diameter when measured 30 inches from the ground. After thinning, remaining canes should be spaced about 6 inches apart. On the canes that remain, prune out the tips of the canes which have died due to winter injury. Cut back to live tissue. If the canes have suffered little winter dieback, remove the top 1/4 of the canes.
There are two options when pruning fall-bearing yellow raspberries. One pruning option is to prune out all weak, diseased, and damaged canes at ground level. Leave the largest, most vigorous canes. Cut back the tips of the canes that remain. Remove approximately the upper one-third of the canes. This option provides two crops during the year. The second option is to prune all canes back to the ground in late winter/early spring. This pruning option produces a single crop in late summer or early fall.
Summer-bearing and fall-bearing yellow raspberries should be confined to a one- to two-foot-wide hedgerow. Shoots growing beyond the one- to two-foot-wide hedgerow should be dug up and destroyed using a rototiller or spade.