They’re easy to spot, those thorny little bushes that seem to take over gardens. There are ways to get rid of those pesky things, and this article is specifically written to show you how to get rid of blackberry bushes.
Blackberry bushes are not to be confused with blackberries, which are in the Rubus family. The little blackberry plants can cause you a great deal of trouble simply because they like your yard and want to take it over. The easiest way to get rid of them is by burning the bushes or by dousing them with a herbicide containing glyphosate.
There are different ways to get rid of blackberry bushes.
Cut down the plant
The first way is to cut down the plant. You can use hand tools or take a weed whacker to the plant. To get rid of blackberry bushes by cutting them down, trim all of the branches back to the main trunk of the bush. Cut as low as possible on each branch–this will cause regrowth of new shoots from closer to the ground. Once you’ve gotten rid of all of the branches, cut down as much of the root system as possible. If there are any pieces left over, dig them out with a shovel or pitchfork.
Spray it with herbicides
Blackberries are a thorny problem. They spread quickly and grow into large, impenetrable patches. But it’s possible to remove them by spraying the plants with herbicide.
You can also use chemicals to get rid of blackberry bushes–the process is similar to using them for weed control in your lawn. Simply spray on an herbicide designed for use on invasive plants that have been approved for use on blackberries.
If you aren’t able to cut down the plant, spray it with an herbicide. When you can’t get rid of unwanted blackberry bushes by pulling them out, spraying the herbicide glyphosate is usually effective. Glyphosate kills broadleaf plants and grasses.
You can kill blackberry bushes with a combination of commercial herbicides and a brush mower. In the spring, when the blackberries are just beginning to grow, apply a pre-emergent herbicide (one that kills seedlings) over the entire area where you want to destroy the plants. The following fall, when the blackberries are dormant but still green, cut them down to 1 inch above ground level with a brush mower.
Then apply an herbicide containing a broadleaf weedkiller and systemic insecticide to the stumps. This should kill any new shoots that sprout and help prevent regrowth until next year’s first frost.
To spot-spray blackberry bushes, mix the herbicide according to package directions and use a garden sprayer. To cover larger areas, use a backpack or hand pump sprayer. Spray the herbicide on any part of the plant that you can see above the ground. Avoid spraying when it is windy, as herbicides can be carried by the wind and damage surrounding plants.
Once you have sprayed the blackberry bushes, however, don’t expect immediate results. It may take several weeks for the herbicide to kill the bush. When using chemical herbicides, follow all label directions for safety and effectiveness.
Bare blackberry bushes are vulnerable to herbicides, but they should be sprayed while they’re still dormant in the winter or early spring. When the plants have leaves, their thorns make it difficult to spray them directly.
Blackberry bushes have a long taproot that can go as deep as 12 feet underground. You must get at least 6 inches of growth to make sure you’ve killed enough roots to stop new shoots from growing up from underground. Be sure to check for new sprouts every few weeks after you’ve sprayed and dig them out as soon as you spot them.
Tips on succeeding with herbicides
There are different types of herbicides for different needs. For example, if you want to kill the bush but not the grass around it, use a selective herbicide.
- Apply herbicide in late winter or early spring. Apply the herbicide before the buds have fully opened, as early in the spring as possible. If you wait until later in the season, it may not be able to kill off all of the roots before winter starts again.
- Use a selective herbicide if you’re trying to get rid of blackberries while keeping other plants alive. The most common type is picloram + 2,4-D amine. Use an appropriate amount and mix it with water according to the instructions on the back of the bottle. Spray it onto any healthy green leaves that are visible.
- Use a non-selective herbicide if you want to remove all vegetation from your yard and start over. Common types are glyphosate or glufosinate-ammonium. Mix it with water according to the instructions on the back of the bottle and apply it once every two weeks for up to three months.
How To Get Rid of Blackberry Bushes with Vinegar, Salt, or Bleach
If you don’t have access to an herbicide, you can apply vinegar, salt, or bleach to the bush. This will burn off some of the leaves and help kill the roots. Pour one gallon of white vinegar over the leaves and stems of the bush to kill it. The acidity in vinegar is what kills it.
Put on a pair of rubber gloves. If you have a sprayer, fill it up with vinegar and spray the leaves and stems. Even if you don’t have a sprayer, make sure to coat the plant well with vinegar.
Let it sit for about a week; then check on it. If there are still some green leaves on it, reapply the vinegar. Repeat this process until all of the leaves are dead; then dig up the roots using a shovel or spade.
White vinegar usually contains five percent acetic acid, which is the active ingredient that destroys blackberry foliage. To apply vinegar to a blackberry bush, mix one-part vinegar with four parts water in a spray bottle and spray it on the bush. This will burn off some of the leaves, but repeated applications may be necessary to completely kill the bush.
Alternatively, sprinkle 1/2 cup of salt over the area where you wish to kill the blackberry bush.
An alternative to using vinegar is applying salt directly to the soil around the bush. Salt will help dry up moisture in the soil and prevent new roots from growing. To apply salt, pour salt directly onto the base of the bush and cover any exposed roots. If there is no available salt at home, you can use Epsom salt as well.
Pull individual root
You can easily kill a blackberry bush by pulling it out of the ground, but this method is not always effective. The roots of a blackberry bush are extensive and often spread out to form new bushes nearby. Pulling out individual roots can be done but this is slow and tedious work. For best results, you should use an herbicide such as glyphosate or 2,4-D. These herbicides are available at most home and garden stores.
Get rid of the seeds For Permanent Results.
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment with a blackberry bush outside your window, you know how fast they spread their seeds. It’s hard to try and keep up with them because when you pull one up there are hundreds of others just waiting for their chance to spread their seeds.
It’s easier just to kill the whole plant before it has a chance to spread its seeds and grow again next year.
That’s all the details we have on how to get rid of blackberry bushes.
Blackberry bushes are a beautifully lush and green plant that many people admire. However, they are sometimes referred to as invasive plants by gardeners. Rapid thickening of the vegetation and dense growth can prevent sunlight from reaching areas where grass needs to grow, such as underneath and in between the blackberry bushes.
Cutting the plant down is your best option if you are dealing with a large, mature shrub. If you are just trying to remove a few bushes on your property, then this is the best option.