Tipping blackberry and black raspberry primocanes

One of the most important management practices for production of blackberries and black raspberries is summer tipping of the primocanes. This practice removes the apical dominance of the shoot tip, resulting in several lateral branches below the tip, and a stronger primocane. Next year’s crop will primarily be produced from buds on the lateral branches, not buds along the main primocane. Tipping can result in 3-5 fold increase in yield, thus it is a standard practice.

Tipping height is somewhat arbitrary, but usually depends on the relative vigor of the primocanes and the height, if applicable, of the trellis. With black raspberries that are somewhat low in vigor, I suggest tipping no higher than 3 ft. For thornless blackberries, a height of 4 ft of so is more appropriate.

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