Summer Blackberry Pruning
To understand blackberry pruning we need to start with some definitions. Floricanes are this year’s fruiting canes. They will die back in the winter and will not have fruit next year. Primocanes are this year’s growth and will have fruit next year. Blackberries should be pruned in the summer after fruiting to remove the floricanes. This is done for two reasons. First, it is easier to tell now which are the floricanes than in the winter. Second, removing the floricanes now gives the primocanes more room to grow and develop lateral branches that will produce next year’s crop. The picture below shows unpruned blackberry plants after they have finished fruiting.
The next picture shows pruned blackberry plants with the floricanes removed. Most of the lateral branches on the remaining primocanes that were below the bottom trellis wire were also removed. If the lateral branches don’t have the support of a trellis wire the weight of the fruit usually takes those branches to the ground and may possibly contaminate the fruit. The next job will be to go back and weed the blackberry row.