How to Prune Berry Fruits


These are amongst the most popular of berry fruits and are easy to prune.

At planting time

Root prune, then immediately after planting, cut down each cane to a good bud about 25 cm (10 in) above ground.

Subsequent pruning

In the first year after planting, limit the number of new canes to each stool/rootclump to about five of the strongest. Remove the remainder during summer, along with any which appear between the rows. Cut them all off cleanly at soil level.

Berry Fruits

In the second and subsequent summers, cut out all fruited canes to ground level as soon as cropping ceases, and at the same time limit the number of new canes to no more than eight per stool — tying them in to supporting wires. In late winter, cut off the tips of each cane at about 1.5 m (5 ft).


Blackcurrants produce the best fruits on young wood, and pruning is carried out with this in mind.

At planting time

Root prune. Immediately after planting, cut down newly planted bushes to about 5 cm (2 in) above ground, taking each stem back to a good, outward-pointing bud.

Subsequent pruning

In the second and third years, thin out any weak new growths, cutting them out at or near soil level. In later year, immediately fruit picking is finished, cut out about one third of the total number of stems each years, down to ground level. Take out the oldest wood first.


Red- and whitecurrants carry their fruits on a framework of permanent branches, either on bushes or on cordons. For average purposes, bushes are easier to manage, are cheaper to buy, and crop more heavily on a plant to plant basis.

At planting time

Root prune. Then after planting shorten all the main branches back by about half their length.

Subsequent pruning

Each year, as soon as fruit picking is over, shorten all sideshoots back to within two buds of the main wood. Then turn to the tips of each branch and shorten back new season’s growths by half.

Berry Fruits


The pruning of gooseberries is carried out in much the same way as for redcurrants, with one main difference — the sideshoots are shortened back less severely to three buds and not two.


At planting time

Root prune and shorten the top growth back to 25 cm (10 in) after planting.

Subsequent pruning

In the first year, tie in new fruiting rods. Thereafter, cut out all the old fruited rods each year as soon as fruit picking is finished, and tie in new growths. These new rods should be loosely tied into canes during the growing season. This prevents them getting damaged and makes the autumn tying in a great deal easier.

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About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.

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