How Tall Do Raspberry Bushes Grow?


If you are planning to grow raspberry bushes in your yard or garden, you may be wondering how tall the canes will grow.  I was wondering the same thing myself, so I did some research to find out.

So, how tall do raspberry bushes grow?  Raspberry bushes can grow as tall as 4 to 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 meters) high, with a width of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters).  You can tie a raspberry cane to a trellis, fence, or stake to keep it from falling over as it grows taller.  You can also prune raspberry bushes to keep them shorter and to ensure good fruit production.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of raspberries.  First we’ll learn a little more about how raspberry bushes grow.  Then we’ll get into whether raspberry bushes need pruning and support.  Finally, we’ll talk about how much fruit to expect from a raspberry bush, and how long they might live.

How Tall Do Raspberry Bushes Grow?

The canes on some raspberry bushes can grow as tall as 8 feet (2.4 meters)!  The canes on most varieties are able to easily reach a height of 4 feet (1.2 meters) or more.

raspberry canes
Raspberry canes can grow up to 8 feet tall, and may fall over without support.

When raspberry canes grow tall enough, there is a danger of them falling over, especially if they are bearing lots of fruit.  In some cases, you should to support your raspberry canes with trellises, stakes, or some other method (more on this later).

Most raspberry bushes will reach a width of 3 to 5 feet wide, again depending on the variety.  You can control both the height and width of your raspberry plants with careful pruning (more on this later).

How Fast Do Raspberry Bushes Grow?

According to the Stark Brothers website, most raspberry bushes will bear fruit 1 to 2 years after planting.  This means that some taller varieties can grow 4 feet or more in a single year!

A raspberry plant sends out new green canes, called primocanes, every year.  On summer-bearing raspberry bushes, these canes do not bear any fruit until early to mid-summer in their second year, when they become floricanes.

raspberries
Floricanes, or 2nd year canes, on a raspberry bush are the ones that bear fruit.

Floricanes are fruit-bearing canes that have brown bark on them.  After their second year, raspberry canes will not bear fruit.  At this point, they should be cut back to make room for new growth.

Should I Prune My Raspberry Bush?

Yes, you should prune (or cut back) your raspberry bush every year.  Pruning your raspberry bush stimulates new growth and makes room for more primocanes.

It also makes it easier to manage your plants, whether pruning them, tying them to supports, or harvesting berries.  Remember that raspberry canes have thorns on them, so the fewer extra canes in your way, the better!

raspberries
Raspberry bushes should be pruned after harvesting in the summer, to keep them manageable.

Summer-bearing raspberry bushes should be pruned immediately after harvesting berries in the summer.  Here is how to prune raspberry bushes.

First, find any canes that produced berries and cut them to the ground.  If you don’t remember which canes produced fruit, just look at the colors.  Leave the green primocanes alone, and cut back the brown floricanes instead.

Next, prune back any “extra” green primocanes.  You only want to leave one raspberry cane every 4 inches, to avoid overcrowding.

Then, use twine to tie the remaining canes to a trellis or stake (more on support for raspberry canes later).

For more information, check out this article on pruning raspberries from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

You can also check out this article on pruning raspberries from the Stark Brothers website.

Do Raspberries Need A Trellis?

Most raspberry bushes will soon grow tall enough to need some kind of support.  This could come in the form of a trellis, stake, or perhaps a tall tomato cage for shorter raspberry varieties.

For your trellis, you can drive posts into the ground in a row and string wire between the posts at varying heights (1 foot high, 2 feet high, etc.).  That way, you will have a way to tie and support your raspberry canes as they grow.

For more information, check out my article on tomato cages.

You can also check out this detailed guide from Nourse Farms on growing raspberries.

How Tall Should A Raspberry Trellis Be?

For shorter varieties of raspberries that grow 4 to 6 feet tall, you will probably do fine with a trellis that is 5 feet tall.  In that case, you won’t have much trouble harvesting berries, except perhaps the very highest ones.

On the other hand, it is more difficult to harvest from the top of taller raspberry canes that grow up to 7 or 8 feet tall.  In that case, it is best to use a lean-to trellis.

A lean-to trellis lets your raspberry canes grow diagonally.  With a lean-to trellis, your canes can grow to full length (7 or 8 feet long).  You will also be able to harvest raspberries from the ground without a ladder.

I would recommend a 6 foot tall vertical wooden support for a 10-foot long piece of board.  Let your raspberry canes grow up along the board.  The length along the ground will be 8 feet – see the picture below for an illustration.

You can build your own lean-to trellis to whatever specifications you want. I suggest a height of 6 feet for a support, which allows for your raspberry canes to grow along a 10-foot-long diagonal.

For more information, check out my article on how tall a trellis should be.

You can also check out this article from the Iowa State University Extension on trellises for raspberries.

How Much Fruit Does A Raspberry Plant Produce?

The average yield per raspberry plant is 1 to 2 quarts of fruit.  According to the Penn State Extension, a raspberry bush will produce fruit for 5 to 10 years or more in some cases.

raspberries
A row of 10 raspberry plants can produce 10 to 20 quarts of fruit in a season!

The Stark Brothers website suggests that raspberry plants can live 8 to 10 years with proper maintenance.

Of course, ever-bearing raspberry plants can produce in the summer and in the fall, and the yield will depend on the variety.  The size and color of the fruit will also depend on the variety.

Which Raspberry Plants Should I Grow?

When selecting a raspberry plant, make sure to choose one that you can grow in your climate!  For more information, check out the USDA Zone Hardiness Map to see what zone you are in.

Here are some varieties of raspberry bushes that you can try.

All of the raspberry varieties mentioned here are self-pollinating, meaning that you only need one plant to get fruit.  However, one plant might not be enough if you like raspberries!

Conclusion

By now, you have a much better idea of how tall raspberry bushes will grow.  You also know about pruning and trellising raspberry canes, and how much fruit you can expect from a plant.

I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone else who can use the information.  If you have any questions or advice about raspberry bushes, please leave a comment below.

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jonathon. I’m the gardening guy (not guru!) who is encouraging everyone to spend more time in the garden. I try to help solve common gardening problems so that you can get the best harvest every year!

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