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sheeshshe
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how do I get rid of wild blackberries etc without chemicals?

I don't want to use a weed killer or anything, but how on earth do I get rid of wild blackberries and actually a blackberry bush that has chromosomal abnormalities? these things will pop up everywhere so how do I get the out so that they don't come back? I want to get good blackberries and I don't want to compromise thier perfectness with these other blackberries that are in the plot...

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lorax
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Goats. That's how invasive wild blackberry is eliminated here, and it's about the only effective thing there is that's non-chemical.

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applestar
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I planted thornless blackberries. Now, the thorny ones get pulled out as soon as they pop up. :twisted:

ronbre
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goats are good advice but buy some really thick leather gloves and bramble bushes will pull up fairly easy..they are quite shallow rooted.

you might want to snip off any unwieldy long branches so they don't slap you
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Sage Hermit
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clip at the base near ground level.

Eat those berries! Transplant the roots to a more suitable location. Blackbarries are pretty decent form of food and its free food.


I suggested not cutting cutting them but proping them up! Why kill something that gives you energy? The leaves are also used in tea like raspberry tea. Its all very good for you to grow them. They grow on every continent.

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Reason z.
I planted thornless blackberries. Now, the thorny ones get pulled out as soon as they pop up. Twisted Evil
heheh nice was it your or rainbowG's thread? I think it was her's. Wonder how thats going. Personally I am uprooting every raspberry I find and relocating it to my no till beds. In 1 year I should have a nice yield. That's the plan.
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sheeshshe
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I need to get rid of them, not transplant them. reason being, the wild ones produce small hard berries and the one I purchased 5-6 years ago just was never right from the beginning. it has a genetic defect and the drupelets don't form completely. so I want to get some new ones but I need to remove the wild ones etc from the area in case they have a virus or something so that I don't infect any new plants :)

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Kisal
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How large an area are you dealing with? The roots can be dug out, which is best done in February where I live, but I don't know about where you're located.

I'm not physically able to do heavy work like that anymore, so I hired a crew to do it for me. I got the name of the company from the Extension Service office in my city. It was a company that specialized in removing invasive plants from ecologically sensitive areas.

I had an area about 15' x 30' that was solid blackberry bramble, 7' high or more. The 3-man crew had it completely cleared within 4 hours. They used mattocks and hoedads to do the work. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't astronomical, either, and IMO, it was well worth every cent I paid.

That was 4 or 5 years ago, and the area is still clear of blackberries. I've pulled maybe half a dozen tiny new plants since then, but they had very small root systems. I'm pretty sure they weren't suckers from the old root system, because I just pulled them up by hand with no problems.

One thing I do know about wild blackberries is that just cutting them off at the ground only encourages them to send up new shoots from the roots. Goats would probably work, but you would have to have them around all the time to keep the brush cleared back. A friend of mine rented some goats to clear the blackberries on her property. She discovered, much to her chagrin, that the goats first ate everything except the blackberry bushes. Maybe they were saving them for dessert! :lol:
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sheeshshe
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its not an overly huge area, but its in a wooded area between some trees (the wild ones). part of them are on my neighbors side but they don't eat them so I doubt they'd mind if I got rid of them.

I can pull them all, but I just wans't sure if they'd keep coming back if I missed some roots ya know? didnt know if there was a better way of doing it besides just pulling them up.

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soil
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chop it to the ground, and then put some goats on it is the best way. when the plant tries to regrow( which it will) it will be soft growth, the goats will LOVE that fresh growth, and mow it like grass as fast as it can come up. eventually the plant runs out of steam and dies. now your soil is fertile from all the rotting roots from the blackberries, all the goat manure on top. nice and loose ready for planting. mulching well after that helps a lot for any seeds that might want to try and grow.

if you don't have goats, and are in the situation where you can have some. people with goats would be willing to feed there animals in exchange for the goats ridding you of thorny blackberries. craigslist is a good place to ask for this
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sweet thunder
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In the areas where I have full access, I've had some success with pulling/digging them out and then sheet-mulching. I still have to pull a few that pop up through the mulch, but eventually they give up.

In places where I can't get at the whole plant due to fences or tree roots or some such, it's a constant battle. I have even tried painting the cut canes with brush killer, but they always come back. I just keep cutting or pulling, trying to get to it before it sets fruit.

I like to think I'm helping eradicate a highly invasive plant (the Himalayan blackberry - I'm more tolerant of our native blackberry) but it feels truly Sisyphean when I see how these berries are taking over huge areas all over town.

Let me know if you hit on a good solution!

AkeenGardener
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Unfortunately I think hard work is the only answer here. My experience has been that chemicals can work but you have to have fairly heavy duty stuff. Cut them down and then dig them out. Work an area at a time and dig down at least a spades depth. Dig out what you can and move onto the next area. Leave it a couple of weeks and repeat. This way the soil is much easier to work the second time and you dig out what you missed the first time.

Close your eyes after a few hours of this and you will see brambles and roots-you will be dreaming of them!

Yes its hard work but unless you want to use chemicals or goats as others suggest (assuming you have access to goats!)then I think this is the best way. :wink:

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Gary350
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Lawn mower works great.

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sheeshshe
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could I potentially just keep mowing them down everytime they grow back? then I'm just like a goat, right? LOL!

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could I potentially just keep mowing them down everytime they grow back? then I'm just like a goat, right? LOL!
Yes, I agree with gary350. I would also follow up with a gas line trimmer and really scalp them.

Eric

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I feel your pain. I posted about this in the spring or maybe last year. Wild blackberries are evil spawn of Satan.

Mine have choked off all my foundation landscaping. I have dug them out by the roots... over and over and over again... and two weeks later, new ones have sprung up and are all the thicker. They have attacked my puppies and children many times. They have choked off my shrubs. They are evil evil evil.

Re: goats - that is the one thing I have not tried yet because I don't know where to get goats. Will the goats also eat shrubs or will they somehow magically only eat the wild blackberries?
Julia in Georgia

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soil
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Re: goats - that is the one thing I have not tried yet because I don't know where to get goats. Will the goats also eat shrubs or will they somehow magically only eat the wild blackberries?
they will eat everything sorry. the goat method is best for clearing an area for planting, not after.
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Weed Wrench...

Weed Wrench...

[url=https://www.weedwrench.com/weedwrench/]Weed Wrench[/url]!
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Thanks, soil... at this point, even after five years' growth of absolutely gorgeous shrubs that I adore, I'm thinking the only way to get rid of the wild blackberries is to get rid of everything and start from scratch. So maybe I'll bring in the goats after all. I hate to lose my beautiful shrubs, but they're too big now to temporarily transplant but the thorns are hopelessly entangled in them... *sigh*
Julia in Georgia

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applestar
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Maybe you could fence off the immediate area around your favorite shrubs (I'm envisioning cutting a vertical swath with some kind of power tool and pushing framed fence panels through -- though I've never done this and don't know if such a procedure is realistically do-able).

Have the goats concentrate on everywhere else, and you can concentrate on rescuing the "Sleeping Beauties" from the "briarwood" :wink:

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HortIQ
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What do the abnormalities look like? There are some virus infections that will result in deformed berries or complete abortion of druplet development. You can take a sample to your local agricultural extension office for testing. Be sure to take the entire plant including the root system. Unfortunatly unless you want to transplant some "healthy" plants and use herbicides on the rest your options are limited.
You can try starving the root system by systematically cutting new growth, which is labor intensive and time consuming. If you go with herbicides, the most effective herbicides are Banvel, Cimarron, Remedy Ultra (or Garlon Ultra), PastureGard, and Telar. Some points about application, it will be most sensitive while blooming, and it is not drought stressed. you will need to wait six weeks before removing treated plants for maximum effectiveness.
I would suggest going to your extension agency first off... there will be some helpful folks there who will more than happy to help you out! :)
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Gary350
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You mow them down they try to come up again. You keep mowing them down soon they are gone.
Last edited by Gary350 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gary350
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sheeshshe wrote:could I potentially just keep mowing them down everytime they grow back? then I'm just like a goat, right? LOL!

I have a patch of blackberries after it gets full of old dead canes that do not produce blackberries I let the patch migrate to a new location. The roots send up new plants I let all the new plants grow on the west side only all the rest get mowed down when I now the lawn. Blackberry plants keep trying to come up with the grass but every time I mow the lawn I mow down anything trying to come up where it does not belong. The new blackberry patch will produce good berries for many years but when it gets full of old dead canes it is time to let the patch migrate to the east again. I let all the new plants on the east grow all the rest get mowed down. I keep the blackberry patch under control I have to mow the lawn anyway its not a big deal to mow around the blackberry patch.

If you want to get rid of blackberries for good just mow them down they will be gone by the end of summer. If any try to come up the following year mow them down too there won't be any come up the third year. You keep them mowed down lack of sun light to the plant the roots will die.

If you want to get rid of Blackberries fast mow them then till the soil. After you till you will see broken root pieces everywhere pick them up put them in the trash can. Till again over and over you will till up more roots put them in the trash too. Till the soil about every 3 or 4 days for a month when you see more roots on the surface of the soil pick them up throw them in the trash can. Everything will die during the summer when it is hot and not much rain. You don't really need to till but once just keep an eye for new blackberry plants trying to come up all those broken pieces of blackberry roots will try to grow new plants just dig them up one by one throw them in the trash can. Personally I think the shovel is harder work than the tiller.

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