5 Tips for Blackberry Weed Control

Published: January 14, 2022
Blackberries on a bush

Weeds can quickly overrun your farm or agricultural property if not kept in check and it has been estimated that weeds cost $2.5 billion dollars per year in lost agricultural production. One of the more common weeds that we deal with on Australian farms and properties is blackberry bushes. The damage caused by blackberry bushes not only impacts your farm or property, but also extends to the community, the environment and the economy.


Why is it important to control blackberry?

Blackberries, or Rubus fruticosus, are regarded as an extremely serious agricultural threat and are among the worst noxious weeds in Australia because of their potential for spread,  invasiveness, and economic and environmental impacts. The plant was originally introduced to Australia by early European settlers, however, they underestimated just how invasive the plant was and it soon became widespread throughout the country. 

Blackberry bushes commonly form dense thickets that cover large areas and may grow more than 2 m tall, and have prickly stems  up to 150 mm in diameter that grow from a perennial crown. Blackberry bushes are spread by seed, rooting of cane tips, and by suckers from lateral roots. The seeds germinate easily, and the first plant can occupy a large area, very fast. Once it has taken root, it is difficult to eliminate and so control costs are often expensive if the infestation is not dealt with early. In addition to this, blackberry infestations can often bring about pest problems in your property, as their bushes are a good source of food and shelter for wild animals and rodents, whose droppings can also further the spread of this weed.


How to implement blackberry weed control

If blackberries have taken root at your property, then the first thing you must do is stop further spread. By minimising and controlling the existing growth, you can make sure your blackberry infestation doesn’t spiral out of control. Once affected areas have been treated, be vigilant about rehabilitation and further protection to avoid regrowth.  You will need to be prepared to invest significant time, energy and resources to establish a sustainable blackberry weed control regime. Often, a mix of control and removal methods should be used and implemented over a period of several years in order to reduce the chances of possible future blackberry infestations.


The 5 best ways to kill blackberry bushes


Treat as early as possible

The major challenge of blackberry weed control is that these noxious weeds are very persistent and resilient, so treating a blackberry bush weed as soon as it is spotted, but before it has spread is the best course of action. Regularly survey your property to ensure that any new plants are located, particularly during the months of September, October and November when the plants are in the germination stage of their life cycle.


Blackberry poison spray options

Herbicide application is a good solution for properties with existing blackberry plants. Determining the appropriate herbicides to use, as well as the right application procedures and schedule can be tricky and you may need to rely on advice or help from a weed management specialist. If not applied and managed properly, herbicides can kill other healthy plants.


Get your timing right

Poisoning your blackberry bush weed infestation at the right time is imperative to ensure safe and effective control. The best time to treat your farm or property with herbicide for blackberry weed control is in the warm months, from January through to March, although if conditions allow, control treatment can be as early as November and December, or as late as April and May.


Physical methods for blackberry weed control

While applying herbicides to kill your blackberry infestation, there are other methods you can utilise, including;

    1. Slashing which can be used as a follow-up control after initial methods have been implemented.
    2. Destroying the plants by digging to cut the stems of the plants and then digging up the root ball. Ensure that no stems, root fragments, or any parts of the plant are left on the ground, to eliminate the chance of regrowth.
    3. Weekly tilling will kill new blackberry growth.
    4. Bulldozing or mowing can be used for dense and large area growth, but these methods must be used carefully and with follow-up treatment because they may spread out plant fragments, causing regrowth.

Manual removal methods can be carried out at any time of the year.


Biological control to kill blackberry bushes

Biological control is another method you can use to control your blackberry infestation and uses blackberry leaf rust to attack the plant. The blackberry disease infects the leaves and occasionally the green stems, leaf stalks, and unripe fruits of the blackberry plant, by obtaining nutrients and water from blackberry plant cells reducing its ability to grow and reproduce. This method is most often used for extensive infestations and while it will not completely eliminate blackberries, it can help in effectively slowing down growth of the blackberry bush weed infestation.


Enlist the weed control experts for your blackberry infestation

Following these tips will help you to reduce your chances of your blackberry bush weed infestation from growing out of control and reduce the chances of reinfestation in the future, but the most practical and effective blackberry control strategy is to get help from a weed control specialist. If you are looking for additional help for blackberry weed control and how to kill blackberry bushes on your farm or agricultural property, get in touch with Rencon Air & Land. 

Our team of experts can teach you about all the solutions available that will allow you to finally get rid of pesky blackberries and other noxious weeds on your property once and for all. We use only the best equipment, as well as our extensive local knowledge and years of experience in the Agricultural and Forestry industries.

To learn more about what services we can offer, you can give one of our friendly and experienced a call on 1300 RENCON (736 266) or get in touch with us here