Raspberry bushes should be pruned in the early spring or summer. A gardener should only prune a raspberry bush in the fall if he wants only a fall crop of berries.
In the early spring before the raspberry bushes produce new growth, a gardener needs to remove all the limbs that bore fruit the year before, as they do not bear fruit again. These canes are characterized by gray and peeling bark. During the spring cleaning, the gardener should clip away any thin or weak canes.
During the summer, the gardener can remove any dead or damaged branches. If he finds diseased canes, he needs to prune and dispose of them immediately. He should also clip off any limbs that grow outside the bounds of the bush.
Everbearing varieties of raspberry bushes produce a summer and fall harvest of berries. In order to get just one larger fall harvest, a gardener can prune the bushes in the fall or early spring by shearing the bush down to within 2 or 3 inches of the ground. The gardener needs to remove any suckers that grow throughout the summer. He should thin the growing branches by removing the weak and thin canes so that there are at least 6 inches of space between them.