Raspberries and Changing Climates

Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 23, 2015


Fall in Finland, MN has been changing. Gradually each year, the warm days have been lasting longer into October. This year has proven to fit the mold. It was 80 degrees on October 11th. This has thrown the raspberries on the Ridge out of whack.

On Tuesday, October 13th, we were wandering around and noticed that the first-year raspberry canes had begun to re-bud, as if they were in their second year of growth. Raspberries send up a cane their first season, but do not fruit. It is not until the second season of their life that they produce flowers and thus berries.

These warm falls, with sporadic cold snaps, seem to be influencing the growth of various plants and triggering them to believe that winter has lapsed, and spring has arrived again. This causes the plants to begin flower, bud, and leaf out in the late days of autumn.

Could this be a direct side effect of our changing global climate?

By Elizabeth Gerrits and Emily Richey

4 Responses to Raspberries and Changing Climates

  1. Andy says:

    I’m guessing you probably just saw primocane raspberries, which produce fruit in the late summer and fall on their first year of growth, and then in the early summer of their second year of growth (if you don’t prune them).

  2. Carrie Anderson says:

    Cool Andy! We saw some wild strawberries flowering last week too – are those also a potential “normal” late fall response, or perhaps related to the unseasonably warm fall?

  3. Andy says:

    Hmm, I’d say it also depends on the genetics of the strawberry plant. Some flower all the time (‘day-neutral’) but many need short daylengths (like in fall) in order to initiate their buds.

    In a typical fall the plants would initiate their buds and then fall dormant as the temps drop, waking up the next spring to continue flower development on to fruit. But its possible some of those initials continued development to flowers because of this warm fall. Which stinks, because they likely wont have enough time to develop into fruit before a freeze, and then those initials are no longer there for next spring. So, a possible reduced bounty next year :/

  4. Carrie Anderson says:

    Thanks Andy!