Late January and early February are ideal times to give them their first pruning of the year. Remove all dead canes, broken wood, diseased canes and small skinny canes. Also remove any canes growing toward the center of the bush to keep the center open. Save only 4 of 5 of the strongest canes and cut them back at about knee height. Make the cuts at a 45 degree angle about one quarter of an inch above outward facing buds. Be sure to use sharp clippers and to dip the blades in alcohol between cuts.