Eradicating Blackberries

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by pakulak, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. pakulak

    pakulak Member

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    The area is wanted for backyard vegetable garden and its completely overrun. There must be something besides weed killer and it's too large just to try digging it up.
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Besides weed killer and digging, there really aren't any other options. I guess if you cut it to the ground and covered it with a tarp to try and smother it, you might meet some success after a number of years but I wouldn't count on it. It would still come up around the edges of the tarp.

    I have had success with emerging blackberries in my garden by cutting back the stems and then immediately painting the stub with concentrated Roundup.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Cut canes off near root crowns and then either pop out crowns with suitable digging tool or keep replacement shoots cut off.
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Even 2 to 3-year old canes do not 'pop out' in my recent experience. I guess it depends partly on the kind of ground they're growing in - rocky or otherwise.
     
  5. Eppiessam

    Eppiessam New Member

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    January and frosty ground is coming soon. Using a pick axe swing the pointy end under the crown of the plant and rock the pickaxe back on the curved flat blade. With the soil loose from being frozen they pop right out. Easiest time of year to get rid of them.
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    "Easiest time of year to get rid of them." Maybe that's true in Tofino but not where I live.

    I stand by my advice (#2 above) to cut back the stems and then immediately paint the stub with concentrated Roundup. You can do this during the active growing season, not in the middle of winter.
     
  7. Eppiessam

    Eppiessam New Member

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    My experience was Fraser Valley. It works, it is simple and probably quicker and less work than using the roundup.
    It won’t obviously work on rocks but the poster was asking about garden growing so those berries must be growing in good soft soil or at least soil that will be soft after a good freeze. One swing and rock back will remove most plants with little effort. You don’t even have to go deep. Just get the point under the center of the plant and it will pop out. Roundup works but this is quicker. Only thing easier is to rent some goats. Best of all she will be able to plant winter vegetables right away.
     
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  8. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    My husband wouldn't agree but I really don't like to be argumentative. :-)

    Whether you use a pick axe or whether you use Roundup, you first have to cut back all those horrible vines until you can deal with the root near the ground. That's the really nasty part. (I remember as a child, being tasked with cutting back blackberries every weekend and coming into the house with cuts all over my hands.)

    Which is easier to wield - a paintbrush or a pick axe.? Roundup is quick enough for me.
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Goats?
     
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  10. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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  11. Eppiessam

    Eppiessam New Member

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    Yes goats will clear Himalayan blackberries effectively. They love eating blackberries. Using the pick axe method it is crucial to do it after a frost. You will waste your energy otherwise. A brush cutter Weedeater will chop them up to sizes a rake can handle. You have to deal with the stalks somehow. I’ve used a rotary lawnmower with the blade deck tilted up and the handle close to the ground but you can’t have anything or anybody around that could be hurt by flying debris and it will fly a long way. A brush cutter is safer. Heavy duty loppers work well too.
    Finding some Ansell Vitriflex gloves will go a long way to making the job easier. You can handle glass and barbed wire with them on.
     
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  12. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I couldn't agree more. The thing is that glyphosate (Roundup) is NOT a 'known carcinogen' as countless scientific studies have confirmed. Juries may find companies guilty and judges may award huge sums to supposed 'victims' but that does not constitute proof. The 2015 study cited in your first link has now been refuted. See below.

    https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.5717

    "Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, but it has also been the focus of discussion and restrictions in several countries since it was declared ‘probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015. Since that time, several regulatory agencies have reviewed the public literature and guideline studies submitted for regulatory purposes and have concluded that it is not a carcinogen, and revised acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) and the reference dose (RfD) have been published. Also, restrictions on use have been lifted in many locations. Risk assessment for any pesticide requires knowledge of exposure in humans and the environment, and this paper is an update on a previous review in 2016 and includes papers published after 2016. These exposure data for air, water, bystanders, the general public, domesticated animals, pets, and applicators were combined and compared to the revised exposure criteria published by regulatory agencies. In all cases, measured and estimated systemic exposures to glyphosate in humans and animals were less than the ADIs and the RfD. Based on this large dataset, these exposures represent a de minimis risk. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry"

    Not only is glyphosate not carcinogenic, it is not very high on the scale of toxicity. The salt and vinegar concoction many 'organic' gardeners swear by is more toxic than glyphosate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
  13. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    You are welcome to my portion of both.
     
  14. Heathen

    Heathen Active Member

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    Where I work we typically use a hedge trimmer to cut up the vines from top to bottom into manageable pieces. Then those get dragged into a pile with a pitchfork and forked up directly into a vehicle. No handling of prickly bits required. I usually use a garden fork on the crowns, but I'm going to try the mattock method next time, where there is no irrigation to worry about. Thanks for that idea.
     
  15. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I always appreciate a discussion on glyphosate, because there are so many studies on each side that seem convincing.

    For me, I wouldn't use it: Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A meta-analysis and supporting evidence - ScienceDirect (a 2019 paper that concludes "Overall, in accordance with findings from experimental animal and mechanistic studies, our current meta-analysis of human epidemiological studies suggests a compelling link between exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides and increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma."

    We used Round-up on the farm when I was growing up... and my brother has battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma (and associated illnesses) for decades now.
     
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  16. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    It is the dose that makes the poison as we are often reminded. I am very comfortable using tiny amounts for intractable weed problems - and very grateful to have the choice.
     
  17. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I have round up in my shed, but after reading Daniels posting it is being disposed of. Correctly of course via my local council chemical bin.
     
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  18. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    I deal with blackberry all the time...wear Carhartt overalls! I find cutting them down to the ground (hedge trimmers help) by snip, snip, snipping the vines in 6" sections (so they are easy to rake up and remove/bag) and then digging out the roots with a good shovel does the trick. They are going to reappear as birds spread seeds around but if you keep on top of the new ones it is pretty easy to keep the garden clear.
     
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