The bushes my dad has at this time are years overgrown with some strange vine growing through them choking them off they are a mess. I have been trying to pull by hand what I can get of the vine by pulling roots too, but am getting nowhere because of the over growth of the bushes themselves and this damned vine. My question is, if I cut them to the ground completely (all of them), will it give me room to hoe between bushes and get this place cleaned up? If I do cut to the ground, will the canes grow back this summer by fall or will it kill them off completely...never to grace my dad's garden again with growing fruit?
You can cut them to the ground without fear - they will grace your dad's garden again. You just may see a postponement in the onset of fruit depending on what type of raspberry you are growing (ever bearing/fall-bearing/summer-bearing). Some varieties produce fruit on second year growth.
For more information on pruning raspberries, please visit the following link: