When is the best time to trim blackberry bushes and how much do I trim?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Ben: Blackberries are a wonderful treat to grow in the garden. Annual maintenance will ensure a healthy crop year after year. Pruning blackberries depends on what kind you are growing. The two most common kinds of blackberries are semi-erect and semi-trailing; both are thornless. It sounds like you are growing a semi-erect cultivar. They should be pruned during the winter while they are dormant. They should be cut back where the canes start bending over. They can also be pinched back during the summer months if at any time the canes have put on more than one foot of new growth. This will encourage larger fruit. If you are growing semi-trailing blackberries, the best time to prune them would be early next spring. Choose a few of the most vigorous canes and remove the rest at ground level. For detailed pictures and more information on growing/pruning blackberries, visit www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho15/ho15.pdf
. Good sanitation is always important in maintaining a healthy crop. Remove dead or diseased canes at any time of the year. Make sure when you prune that your tools are clean and sharp. If you are removing diseased canes you will want to sanitize in between cuts to prevent disease spread.