Runaway blackberry bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Name: ken
Boise, Id (Zone 6a)
Question by kfbf2
March 3, 2011
I have a vast infestation of some type of blackberry plants that have taken over a large garden area 100x150 feet. What would you suggest as the best non-chemical way to get rid of them forever.

Answer from NGA
March 3, 2011


I wish there were an easy solution, but unfortunately, there is not. You can eliminate blackberries by systematically digging them out, roots and all and hoeing down any new sprouts that emerge. If you consistently cut down any sprouts the roots will eventually run out of stored energy and die out. If the new sprouts are allowed to develop leaves, the leaves will transport energy back to the roots and you'll have a whole new crop of vines to deal with. You can kill the brambles with a vegetation killer such as Round Up. I know you don't want to use chemicals, but Round Up is the most effective chemical on brambles so you may have to resort to using it. If you decide to do so, my advice is to cut the vines off at soil level and then immediately paint the stub with full strength Round Up. If you do this you'll be keeping the chemical on the plant itself rather than on the soil all around the plant. The Round Up will be transported down to the roots where it will kill them. Round Up does not travel in the soil and it degrades in a matter of weeks. Best wishes with your eradication project.

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