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Blackcurrants- how to prune?

Last post 22-09-2008 8:08 AM by bogweevil. 2 replies.

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  • 21/09/2008 12:02 PM
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    I have two blackcurrant bushes and I am wondering how to prune them.  They are established bushes and they are quite large now but there are lots of barches falling down to ground level.  I read on the net that I should take out the old wood which is darker but one site said take a third out and one said cut down to ground level... which should I do?  Am I only to take out the very dark wood out as there is some mid-brown wood too plus should I  cut back the branches that are falling to the ground?


    thank you

  • 21/09/2008 06:25 PM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
    • 9,699
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  • 22/09/2008 08:08 AM
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    If you consider that blackcurrants fruit on new wood you will be able to see what to do.  If the bushes are very old with black mature timber then cut out one shoot in two or three to near ground level in winter.  Near means 10-20cm. Winter in most of England is November to February. Pruning in winter makes the plant reallocate its resources stored in roots and shoots to new growth to ry and restore the balance of roots and shoots to what it was before pruning.  

    If in doubt about a particular branch don't; you can always cut them out next year.

    If the bushes  are not very old you might cut out one stem in four or five, if young bushes wait a few years before pruning and if really ancient bushes cut out half the shoots.  The ones on the ground are a nuisance and should go whatever.

    Commercial producers who harvest by machine commonly cut the whole plantation to ground level with a tractor saw to get massive young growth the following year.  Of course this means that they only crop every other year but it is cheaper to do that than hand prune.

    Since you want lots of young growth 150g of growmore every spring (March/April in England) followed by a generous mulch of organic matter helps.




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