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How to get rid of intense blackberry bushes?!

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  • How to get rid of intense blackberry bushes?!

    Ok so the cross country course at my barn has gone neglected for a long time ever since it changed ownership. Now we are trying to fix it up again! Well today I was out there with my horse and realized that the blackberry situation was far worse then I imagined! Im talking seas of blackberries eight to ten feet high that span for several meters in every direction!

    I know you're not supposed to cut the branches without cutting the roots, and horses get turned out in there every day, so harsh chemicals are out of the question...

    Any suggestions??

  • #2
    sounds like a job for a few goats to me.


    • #3
      THere is a herbicide called Remedy. It is about the only that will get berries. If I remember right you apply it in the fall. It has been a while since I was doing battle with berries.
      You apply to the berry patch so risk to horses is about zero.


      • #4
        Good luck...I've had them lining my driveway. There's a grass strip near them and I was getting damned tired of getting hung up in those whenever I mowed. (I was mowing side-saddle for a while, LOL) Not to mention the birds eating them and then crapping purple all over my house and vehicles.

        I just went with chaining them to the back of the tractor and yanking them out. Takes some time, not long to yank them out but a couple more seasons to catch all the bits that grow back from broken off root pieces. The big ones need a tractor, the smaller ones can be yanked out with a ride-on mower.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!


        • #5
          I had a bumper crop of raspberries growing on the fenceline when we bought our farm, I took the long handled brush clippers to them, it took some time, but by hacking them into little pieces, and cutting right down to the dirt, they didn't come back.

          I occassionally see one trying to sprout, and I either hack it down or mow it down, they don't seem to survive regular mowing either.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


          • #6
            Just bush hog, if you can get to them. This year's first growth will be next year's berry bearing. So about 3 years of regular mowing will get rid of most of them.


            • #7
              Send me to your farm. I shall eat the tasty buggers!
              And this is the story of your red right ankle.


              • #8
                Concur. Bush hogging is the answer.


                • #9
                  I would be happy to send you a Mountain Beaver. I don't know why, but they kill the blackberries around their burrows, which are fairly large and the entrances/exits are over about a 30'x30' area. Though once you have let it kill off your blackberries, you'll probably want to send it on to the next COTHer who wants to get rid of the vines, before your place looks like a minefield. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...pbeaver08.html

                  My blackberry removal method is to cut them to the ground, then when they sprout again, I use a claw tool to yank the roots out of the ground. Repeat, and in a couple years they're gone. While my husband occasionally practices White-Trash Landscaping (chaining up the Suburban to offending shrubs and trees), we haven't had to resort to that yet with the berries.

                  Good Luck!


                  • #10

                    Mine especially love strawberries unfortunately (not that we want them to eat our blackberries either!)
                    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                    Need You Now Equine


                    • #11
                      ahh the wonders of the himalyan blackberry, that nearly indestructible plant that will try and kill you when you go after its wonderful fruit.

                      We have tried the following methods:
                      1) hand clipping at ground level. Advantage: very green, good exercise
                      Disadvantage: needs to be done every 6 months, multiple bloody wounds, doesn't really eradicate them even after 15 years of doing it. Ask me how I know.

                      2) brush hogg: same results as hand removal, only less bloody.

                      3) Roundup or similar herbicide. Blackberries are genetically superior and laugh at puny human attempts to poison them, acquiring funny curled up leaves for a few weeks ( thereby temporarily fooling you into thinking you've won) and then regrowing with a vengeance, even more herbicide resistant, the next year.

                      4) Backhoe. Rip em up by the roots below ground level, burn the debris. The only reliable way we ever found to permanently remove them and well worth hiring an experienced operator for an afternoon or two to get rid of heavy infestation.
                      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                      • #12
                        If you don't kill it with herbicides-Arsenal will kill it, but Remedy is supposed to be okay for grazing

                        or get it dug up with heavy equipment with big teeth, it will continue to sprout forever.


                        • #13
                          Give me your location and I'll come pick all I can pack away, take cuttings or dig starts and THEN you can get goats or llamas to eat them back.
                          Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                          Northern NV


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Young Equestrian View Post
                            Send me to your farm. I shall eat the tasty buggers!

                            Or send the bushes to my farm!


                            • #15
                              Crossbow works too after berry drop in fall or just leafed out in spring.


                              • #16
                                Bush Hog. We had to do it twice (once a year, for two years) but now they're gone. They are tenacious though. Good luck!

                                Interesting sidenote: I bought some first cutting hay this year, and there are some blackberry stems and leaves in it. At first I diligently picked them out, but then I realized I couldnt get them all, and apparently he had no problem eating around the briar-y stems, and loves to eat the leaves. I thought, why not? There are a lot of people out there that pay a lot of money to feed them to their horse...


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Almost Heaven View Post
                                  Just bush hog, if you can get to them. This year's first growth will be next year's berry bearing. So about 3 years of regular mowing will get rid of most of them.
                                  Yes, this ^^. We had horrible overgrowth last year. We bush hogged the field twice. This year only about a quarter of the bushes came back. We will bush hog again at the end of the summer. Every year it will get less and less.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Young Equestrian View Post
                                    Send me to your farm. I shall eat the tasty buggers!
                                    I agree! And make Wine from all thats left!

                                    PS Remedy will do it in one spraying!!
                                    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


                                    • #19
                                      You'll need a combination of cutting (hand or brush hog) and spray to truly eradicate them...oh, wait, that won't ever really happen, but you can beat them down to nearly nothing.

                                      We use Crossbow, combined with a "spreader/sticker" stuff to make it stay on the leaves, applied in spring and fall. You'll be left with dead dry patches of canes. You'll then need to brush hog those. We find it easiest to hog them, then spray whatever comes back. Rinse, repeat.

                                      We've used Crossbow and returned the horses to the fields the next day, as long as they have something else to eat, they aren't going to go near BB's.

                                      Good luck--it can be done, but trust me, you want heavy equipment. You and a pair of clippers isn't going to work.
                                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                      • #20
                                        I'm going to guess that Crossbow is something other than you folks sitting outside shooting arrows at the blackberries?

                                        3) Roundup or similar herbicide. Blackberries are genetically superior and laugh at puny human attempts to poison them, acquiring funny curled up leaves for a few weeks ( thereby temporarily fooling you into thinking you've won) and then regrowing with a vengeance, even more herbicide resistant, the next year.
                                        Tell me about it. Ugh. However I can beat that...I've tried everything under the sun on a large area of Japanese Knotwood/Mexican Bamboo in my backyard. This early spring before anything greened up...I broke them off at the ground, dug up all roots and underground shooters I could find and then doused the area (and I mean soaked!) in Total Vegetation Killer. (Ground Clear)
                                        The crap came back.
                                        So while it was still young and growing...I re-doused with the TVK. The plants grabbed the bottle out of my hands and threw it at me. They then hurled insults at me and told me to go away before they were forced to taunt me a second time.
                                        ****ing plants.

                                        Ring builder guy will be back to working on the ring area again this coming week. RBG has a big ol' Komatsu excavator. I'm planning o asking him to excavate that area out down a few feet. Mwuahahaha!

                                        (and if I see the plants take over the Komatsu...none of y'all will be hearing from me anymore)
                                        You jump in the saddle,
                                        Hold onto the bridle!
                                        Jump in the line!