I’ve pruned our black raspberries, everbearing red raspberries, and blackberries in spring, summer, and winter and the plants really don’t seem to care what the calendar said. So nowadays I prune at a time that works for me.
In my opinion, the toughest part of pruning brambles that have primocanes and floricanes is figuring out which canes have gone through their two-year cycle and are dead. Second toughest is figuring out where the dead tops of everbearing raspberries start.
The solution to both of these puzzles is to wait and prune once the leaf buds have started expanding. At that point, it’s obvious at a glance which canes (or parts of canes) are alive or dead.
The bonus of pruning at this time of year is that it gives you an excuse to be out in the garden on stunning days without encouraging you to plant annual crops too early. (This is a case of do as I say, not as I do — we already have lettuce and peas and parsley and broccoli in the ground. Most of it is sitting there giving me the stinkeye for planting too soon!)
On an unrelated note, Mark and I just added half an hour of cover-crop content to our Soil-First Gardening course. If you already own a copy, you can simply log in and enjoy the new videos. If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, now’s a great time since you can use this coupon link to get 67% off through April 1. Enjoy!