Four methods of establishing a raspberry plantation from spawn canes were compared. Removing the 'handle' and planting the roots horizontally produced more canes than planting the cane normally (vertically) with or without removal of the handle. However, this was usually offset by poorer cane quality. Regardless of the method of planting, if the cane handle was removed the emergence of new canes in the first year was considerably earlier than if the handle was retained. Continuing effects on cane numbers were found as late as the third year of a plantation, while differences in cane quality and fruit yields persisted into the fourth year, despite the removal of a considerable number of canes surplus to fruiting requirements. Addition of extra N in one experiment did nothing to alter the relative performance of the different planting systems. The results did not justify any recommendation for a change from the traditional practice of vertical planting of spawn cane to the horizontal planting of the root system alone. However, in certain field situations there may be a case for removal of the cane handle following the normal vertical planting, in order to exploit the earlier emergence of canes stimulated by this treatment.