CONTROLLING BLACKBERRY IN URBAN/PERI-URBAN ENVIRONMENTS
The Victorian Blackberry Taskforce receives many inquiries from landowners living in urban/peri-urban environments. Because landholders live close to each other, blackberry control options may differ compared with landholders in rural environments. Some controls are the same regardless of location. For example, the best time to apply herbicide is when the plant is actively growing – from November to March/April.
Inquiries often focus on chemical control and neighbouring blackberry infestations.
Where can I purchase chemicals to treat blackberries?
Herbicides can be purchased from a farming supplies or hardware outlet, where you can also get advice on selecting the right product, directions for use, how to apply the chemical safely and effectively, and the appropriate PPE needed.
Explain your situation so that the chemical supplier can tailor advice to your circumstances. You may live next door to a sensitive crop, waterway or somebody’s prized roses.
Application of herbicide
The best method of herbicide application for small infestations is a pressure-powered spray unit, which can treat blackberries to a height of 1.5 metres. Following physical control measures, the best time to apply herbicide is when the regrowth is at least one metre tall, ensuring there is enough leaf coverage for the uptake of chemicals.
Physical control is an important tool in urban/peri-urban environments. This is a great way to mitigate the risks of off-target chemical damage.
• Cut and paint
The cut and paint method involves cutting blackberry canes close to ground level and immediately painting the cut stems with herbicide. This treatment should only be used on small plants and will likely need to be repeated.
• Hand weeding
This method is only effective with very small infestations. Although seedlings and small plants are sometimes difficult to pull out by hand, it is important that the entire root system is removed using a shovel or pick. Blackberry will regrow from any root fragments left in the soil.
Although cutting blackberry plants at ground level will not kill them, slashing can help in follow-up control by other methods. Fortnightly or monthly slashing or mowing forces the plant to regrow, using up root reserves and eventually making the plant weaker.
My neighbour has blackberry and won’t do anything about it. Who can I contact?
If you would like to discuss the sighting of blackberry on private property or government land, contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 to speak to a local Biosecurity Officer.