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Raspberries for North Dakota

Raspberry is a popular fruit that is easy to grow in North Dakota. Plant both summer- and fall-bearing types to extend your harvest. Here are some tips and recommended cultivars for gardeners in North Dakota.

Raspberries

Raspberry is a popular fruit that is easy to grow in North Dakota. Plant both summer- and fall-bearing types to extend your harvest.

Summer-bearing types are most popular. They bear fruit on second-year canes, which are pruned out after harvest. 

Fall-bearing types bear fruit on their first-year canes. Select early-ripening fall-bearing cultivars only. You can mow the canes in April for a strong fall crop or allow the canes to develop and bear fruit during the summer.  

Raspberries are established to grow in hedgerows or hills. If hedgerows, set canes 2 feet apart in rows spaced 6 to 8 feet apart. Prune every winter to thin canes to stand 3 to 4 inches apart. If hills, set hills 4 to 6 feet apart in each direction. Prune in the winter to allow six to eight canes per hill.

Purple raspberry canes are pinched when 30 inches tall to encourage lateral branches and these lateral branches are trimmed back to 18 inches long in the winter.

Trellising will make plantings easier to manage, especially the more vigorous purple types.

Spotted wing drosophila has emerged as a major pest of raspberries.

The following cultivars are hardy to Zone 3 unless noted otherwise:

CULTIVAR

DESCRIPTION

Prelude

Earliest raspberry. Good-quality fruits. Also bears a few berries in fall. Zone 4 only.

Boyne

Productive and very winter hardy. Medium-sweet berries good for freezing and desserts. Ripens in mid-July. From Manitoba.

Killarney

Large, bright red fruit. Excellent flavor and aroma. Good yields. Sturdy canes.

Latham

The standard red raspberry. Very reliable producer of bright red fruits. Good quality. Very hardy.

Nova

Good yields of firm, bright red fruits. Canes are vigorous, upright, and nearly thornless. Heat tolerant. From Nova Scotia.

Jewel

Hardiest black raspberry. Tall, productive, vigorous canes produce shiny black fruit. Good flavor. Trellising is suggested. From New York. Zone 4 only.

Encore

Late-season summer raspberry. Large, cohesive fruits with good flavor. Sturdy, upright canes are almost thornless. Zone 4 only.

Royalty

Thorny canes produce excellent yields of large, purple berries in late summer. Excellent for freezing and jams. Use trellis. Zone 4 only. From New York.

Polana

Earliest fall-bearing type. Canes are very hardy and produce impressive yields of glossy red berries. Ripens in August. From Poland.

Autumn Britten

Improved fall-bearing type. Good yields of firm, large berries. Bright red. Good flavor. Canes are vigorous with few spines. Ripens in early September. Zone 4 only.

Anne

Large, flavorful yellow raspberry. Large, pale yellow berries ripen late in fall. Very sweet. Zone 4 only.

Source: and Kathy Wiederholt of North Dakota State University Extension; Charles Elhard and Jamie Good of North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Reviewed 2019. Starting a Community Orchard in North Dakota.  Photo courtesy of Marko Kivela.

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