Pruning raspberries can be very easy and very prickly. While raspberry clumps plants are perennial, raspberry canes should be removed after they have fruited once. In practice, this means that canes should be pruned out after either their first or second year. The trick, of course, is to know which year to prune.
Raspberries are either summer-bearing plants, which produce fruit in June, or fall-bearing plants, which produce fruit in the late summer and fall. Summer-bearing plants flower and bear fruit on canes that grew the previous year. Once they fruit, those canes won’t produce a crop again and should be removed. Recommended summer-bearing varieties are Latham, Boyne, Laura and Honey Queen.
Fall varieties bear fruit on new growth produced in the summer. Those canes will produce a light early summer crop the next summer. After that, the canes should be removed. Fall-bearing canes can be cut down to the ground in early spring if the early crop of fruit is not wanted. Fall-bearing varieties include Heritage, September Red, Fall Red, Red Wing, Amity, Pathfinder, Trailblazer, Plainsman, Perrone’s Red, Caroline, Autumn Bliss, Goldie and Anna.