Pest Alert – Raspberry Leaf and Cane Rust

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If your raspberries look like this, then you have leaf and cane rust. According to Henderson County Agent and Small Fruit Specialist Karen Blaedow, “This is a common problem on raspberries in Western North Carolina with all our wet weather. The problem is something that shows up every fall.”
Leaf and cane rust

Summer Bearing vs Ever-bearing Raspberries

Some varieties of blackberries and raspberries are summer-bearing, which means they produce berries only on the second-year growth, on the floricanes. The fruit appears in early- to midsummer.

Other raspberry varieties are fall-bearing or ever-bearing plants. Ever-bearing varieties produce fruit on the floricanes in the summer, but they also produce fruit on the primocanes. The primocane fruiting occurs at the tips in early fall or late summer in the first year. They will then produce fruit lower on the floricanes the following year in early summer. KEY POINT: If you grow everbearing raspberries, sacrifice the early summer berries by pruning back primocanes after they produce in the fall. Prune them close to the ground. You will get fewer but better quality berries the next year. In short, cut your raspberry plants back to the ground each winter.


According to County Agent Karen Blaedow, “Organic control options include pruning out canes that bore fruit immediately following fruiting and getting them out of the field (burn them or dispose in garbage – do not compost).”
“Also, next summer I suggest you spray with Bonide copper fungicide.”
Do not spray your raspberries this fall. October is too late. Wait to use to the copper spray applying it regularly according to label instructions beginning summer and fall.
Avoid using Baking soda or other home remedies. These will not work effectively.
“Finally, you need to try to maintain a weed-free area around your canes. Cultivation, mulch, and weed fabric are all great choices for this,” says Blaedow.
Here are some internet resources for more information: