Raising Canes: Tulameen Raspberry a Juicy Choice!

Raising Canes: Tulameen Raspberry a Juicy Choice!

Tulameen raspberries to plant, grow, and eat

Clockwise, starting bottom left: Tulameen raspberries 1) in my garden mid-July, 2) swimming in homemade ice cream, 3) sharing counter space with a pint of golden raspberries and 4) calling me to breakfast in the company of cream and sugar.

It may be our ‘gift’ of cloudy skies or the loamy soil kindly left behind by thousand of years of glaciers not staying put, but whatever it is the Pacific Northwest is berry country–a region so well-suited to growing cane fruit, that my blackberry hedgerow is an impenetable wall, formidable enough to block deer and puncture tractor tires. On the kinder, gentler side of berry genetics is the raspberry, an upright cane tame enough for an urban garden and delicious enough that one berry is ample reward (every ten seconds).

What’s the best raspberry to plant? My favorite variety (hands down) is the Tulameen raspberry. It grows in a clumping fashion, has minimal thorns and produces berries the size of cherries that yield to a gentle pull when harvested.  They keep and freeze well, but in my kitchen lack of willpower keeps them a stranger to cold storage. They seem just as delicious on ice cream as on whipped cream as on your palm awaiting to be plucked up and popped into your mouth. If your garden is missing Tulameen raspberries, you’re missing an opportunity for a juicy summer treat.



33 thoughts on “Raising Canes: Tulameen Raspberry a Juicy Choice!”

  • Those raspberries so delicious, and easy to pick. I can almost taste them as I look at the pictures. They have a distinctive sweet taste all their own. The combination of ice cream, raspberries, amd short bread was alittle slice of heaven. I can’t wait till summer.
    Enjoy !

  • What beautiful berries! I remember on my only visit to Oregon many, many years ago, the incredible berries in the farmers markets. I am jealous…

  • According to my photo records they start as early as June 22 and go for about a month, tapering off at the end of July. I have 20 plants and they clump nicely with about 5 canes per clump and the canes reach up to 6-7 feet if not trimmed. I’d give them a try if you have a place with real good drainage.

  • I so agree! Just picked a bowl myself. What a great site you have here Tom! Beautifully done but that’s really no surprise to me. I’m just beginning to enjoy your writings here and I’m sure I’ll find it a great resource when I finally get an orchard going. Stay well!

  • i have just recived tulameen raspberrys,for the first time,iv planted them on my allotment,do i cut them down,to around 6inch,or leve them at the hight of 6 ft

  • Hi Michael, I’d just trim them to about four feet and make the cut just above the closest bud.

    1. You’ll get fruit off of that cane in the coming season as well as new shoots.
    2. At the end of the season when dormant, cut this year’s producing canes to the ground, as they are dead wood.
    3. Trim the new season’s growth (again when dormant) from 3-4 feet.
    4. From the buds will emerge new 1-2 foot shoots and small flowers that will produce the berries for the coming season.

    Bottom line: trim out dead wood and very light pruning on new wood.

  • My sister lives in Gig Harbor, WA and bought some Tulameen raspberries a few year ago. She loves their ease of care. (She just turned 78.) However, I live in the middle of Missouri (Lake of the Ozarks) and I’m not sure if Tulameen would make it through the hot summer. What do you think? If not, can you recommend the same type of raspberry for this area? Thanks.

  • Hi Marlene, good question. Raspberries and serious heat and humidity aren’t well suited, generally speacking. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. I’d check with your local nursuries and see what they recommend. This time of year they are likely to stock inexpensive bareroot raspberry canes that are chosen with your climate in mind.

    Here’s some great information and some suggested varieties from Missouri State University: Growing Raspberries in Missouri and also from the University of Missouri: Fruit and Nut Cultivars for Home Planting

    Then again, you also have the option of visiting your sister in early to mid-July, just about the time Tulameens are ready for picking…and eating.

  • Tom, why do you trim the new season’s growth? and OMG they are amazing. I am completely sated. In life. Just these berries, me and a pint of whipping cream in my house slippers. I’m out there for about an hour each day in complete heaven. I planted 30 canes. I’m picking a colander a day right now. Neighborhood kids are raiding, neighbors are raiding, my son is selling and I could care less. I’m thinking of ripping out the rear lawn and planting more. I could just sit here all summer, eating Tulameen raspberries…kids be damned. Wipe your own bottoms, I’m busy in the berry patch…

  • Hi Annette (Sustainable Eats), I wait until the canes are dormant and about a month before the buds swell, say around February or March around here. I was finding canes got top heavy and would break at the base in heavy rain or wind. Because I use minimal trellising (something I may have to change) I found by trimming off the top of the new cane by a foot or two would send out more vigorous shoots from the remaining buds. I found the best berries were shaded by the cane leaves and this created a lush canopy–and also hid some of the berries from snitching birds (and neighbors). Loved your comment and your raspberry glee!

  • Hi, Tom,

    Is there any chance Tulameens will grow in high desert plateau regions if they are watered daily? We live in Reno and would like to try these here.

    Thank you!

  • Jean, I think that would be a real stretch for a plant that loves cool weather and mild winters. You may get a few berries at first but I doubt the plants would thrive in you climate and eventually die off.

  • I am in zone 5 and just purchase Tulameen raspberries. Should I wait until it cools off to plant these plants or should I plant them now. It is still around 90 degrees here. I have other berries there that were given to me in the spring. They are not making it so I need to pull them out.

  • Hi Mary Lou, I would plant them now and keep them well watered. Let the soil dry a bit between watering, but only a day or two. Raspberries like good drainage. I would mulch over the crowns too, to keep them insulated over the winter. Good luck these as you know are my favorites.

  • I planted Tulameen two years ago. Last y ear I did not get any berries. This year I have many long canes, but only got less than a dozen berries. The foliage looks great, but fruitless. They are in the coolest spot in the yard-not fully shaded but the patch is surrounded with shade at different times of the day. My Autumn Brittan are giving me lots of big berries; they are right next to the Tulameen. What could be my problem? Would pruning the canes encourage blooming? Thanks for any help you can give me.

  • Hi ptn, I remove the dead canes and prune the fruiting canes in the late winter to about 4-5 feet high. I do find it promotes bigger better berries in my opinion. Give that a try. Good Luck! And maybe thin out a few shade branches so they get a bit more sun.

  • Sorry. I meant to say that. We live about 45 minutes north of Salt Lake City and just west of Ogden, Utah. Our summers are usually hot, but this year was a mild summer with more rain than usual. We do have drip irrigation for our garden & the shade is from a nearby peach tree and shrubs to the south in the neighbor’s garden. Thank you for your reply.

  • ptn, then I don’t think it’s the shade. I’d just prune them to 4 feet high and mulch with some compost (but not on the crowns of the plant, around them instead).

  • 2012 summer was the 2nd season for my 2 Tulameen plants. Wow. Lots of great fruit all the way into late September and love that there are barely any thorns. Live in Squamish. BC. and they seem to have fared well despite the lack of heat and sun last summer (September was hot so maybe the reason for such late 2nd crop?). I did forget about pruning though. Thanks for the info.

  • I live in Ohio and planted about 20 red raspberry plants last year which were very small. They have grown well this season, bared fruit and the new canes are about 7 ft tall . It is early August and everything I read earlier said to prune new canes in late winter. Can I prune them now to 6 ft tall?
    Thank you
    Mary Margaret

    • Hi Mary Magaret, sure you could trim them now but if you have a super severe winter it may kill back some of the 6 foot cane. But even then you’d likely only have a foot or two to cut out the dead cane and still have a viable four to five foot cane. It’s up to you, but I don’t think it would affect the fruiting that much, again unless winter die-off reduced the cane’s height dramatically. If that doesn’t happen in your neck of the woods, nothing to worry about. Good Luck!

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