It's Blackberry Season! Time to Start Killing Them.

Comments

1

Actually, the most effective way to remove them, even without herbicide, is probably fire.

Hashtag thoughtfail.

2

@1: Or goats!

www.thegoatlady.com/

3

@2

I do like goats.

4

Goats and fire will get rid of them for a while, but unless you dig out the entire root ball (or as @1 suggests, just kill it with chemical poisons; problematic if they're adjacent to plants you DON'T want to kill) AND re-till the soil on a regular basis to churn up any residual roots, they'll eventually come back.

5

Goats (or fire) leave the root ball intact-- a hillside cleared by goats will be completely covered in blackberries within 4-10 months, depending on what time of year the goats leave.

I find a small mattock much more effective than a shovel for getting the root ball out, but every gardener seems to have a different weapon of choice. Hori-hori, trowel, whatever will pull the damned thing's soul out of the earth.

Goats and fire are more fun to watch and a lot less effort-- but unfortunately, they don't finish the job.

6

Disclaimer: fire is supposed to be the fucked up solution. Please don't ignite anything to get rid of blackberry plants.

7

If you don't have any blackberry bushes in your yard you could always help remove them from parks thanks to the wonderful Green Seattle Partnership: https://seattle.greencitypartnerships.org/event/calendar/

8

Blackberry Cobbler is my favorite thing in the world.

9

Obviously we need more Nordic Fire Goat Gods to attack the blackberries.

Except the ones I eat. Those can stay.

Remember that the Pacific Northwest is a fire ecosystem, and a common remark was about all the smoke you would see hire, mostly started by lightning from storms. Many native species have adapted to this over the millenia, and trying to curtail it is just plain wrong. Let the fires cleanse the earth of your dwellings and restore the fertile layer of ash that only rarely comes from our volcanoes.

10

Use the herbicide. You want to actually get rid of them, right?

11

@9

Volcanic ash is composed of sterile silicates, nutritionally useless to plants. It can take millennia for vegetation to establish itself on a thick volcanic ash deposit-- take a drive down to Crater Lake sometime and have a look at the desolation that still surrounds the former Mt. Mazama for miles as you approach the park.

12

@11

Volcanic ash and tree ash are composed of different minerals; trees are not made of silica, for starters.

13

Well, like you say, blackberry plants do produce blackberries.
So there's that.
But what good is morning glory? A useless plant that is just as invasive and harmful and almost impossible to uproot.
And knotweed?- horribly invasive and useless. (except maybe knotweed honey is ok)

14

"Digging up the root ball" is virtually impossible. In my yard they've developed a massive root network. I pull up as much as I can the moment they start to show. it helps to let them get about a foot high for pulling ability. Stump/vine killer (applied with a brush to the thickest freshly cut stalk as close to the rootball as possible) is useful too.

15

Describing Luther Burbank as "an eccentric botanist" means you don't know anything about this brilliant man. He was one of the great plant breeders of the late 19th century, not some crazy person. Sadly, lots of people in the 19th century believed in eugenics, even people we admire.

16

Welcome to the joys of home ownership, Katie.

17

@12

Was that meant for @9 perhaps? I'm not the one who seems to think volcanic ash and wood fire ash are equivalent from the perspective of a plant.

18

Himalayans aren't the only Blackberries the PNW has to offer. They're the WORST blackberries, that's for sure. Seedy and bitter.

There are Natives (so good), and there are the Cut Leafs (meh), and there are the finest of all, the Mayor of Blackberries, the Marionberry.

Magnusson Park has been s l o w l y removing massive copses of them.

19

When you have millennia, even volcanic ash becomes good topsoil. Just ask Yakima.

Sure it will scrape the heck out of your car windows, but we're all just transient migrants here.

20

The most 'green' restoration professionals I know use ROUNDUP, carefully painted on the stem 'stump'. The problem with pesticides has less to do with the chemicals and more to do with the average person's unwillingness to READ THE DIRECTIONS and apply the chemical exactly how it says you are supposed to.

21

Eugenics demand marionberry supremacy

22

So goats don't get the rootball. Why is that a problem, when you can always get more goats?

23

There will be no "getting rid of them". Managing some areas yes. We have been managing them for years on our 10 acres but the neighbours on both sides, don't and haven't ever bothered.
If there was a bounty then people would get a wiggle on but mostly, no one gives a damn because they would have to remove all the cars and crap they have hoarded to get to them.
The other thing is birds like the seeds and they spread them.

Manage them as best you can and enjoy some in pie.

Much like grey squirrels (black ones too) they are invasive and more aggressive than the native Douglas squirrel and they cause property damage. These were introduced to the UK and have caused populations of their native squirrels to plummet. But ever since 2008 when people were foreclosed on and times got tough in the US, squirrel was back on the US menu. I have a 1940's cookbook with squirrel recipes. But once people became wealthier in the 50's the recipes were taken out of these cook books.

So, cook this invasive things up if it is to your taste and manage as best you can because no amount of killing with rid us of them.

24

These blackberries have a wonderful survival technique. Birds love them, the seeds to through them and are deposited with a little fertilizer.

25

@18 -- yes. Our little native blacberries make Thee Best jam and pies, and they stay nice and close to the ground with kinda poky little thorns -- unlike the Himalayans with their big berries, nasty thorns and serious car/home-invasion proclivities...

Oh and do Not forget the safety glasses --
those Himalayan thorns'll tear up your face.

26

@23 didn't spell check. I have invasive words.

27

Given that bird poop contains all kinds of seed, this is essentially a permanent battle that cannot be won

29

@28

The cockroach and the blackberry won't survive to the end, or anywhere near it, really. Plants, animals, and most other multicellular organisms will crap out somewhere between 600 million and 1.1 billion years hence, depending on whose schedule you're looking at-- possibly when CO2 is sufficiently depleted by weathering, and definitely when solar luminosity has grown ~10% higher than it is today and the oceans have evaporated.

The last life on earth, the ones that will turn out the lights 2 to 3 billion years from now, will be the same crew who arrived first-- bacteria and archaea, getting in their last hurrah deep underground. It's hard to imagine for us, since we just got here, but for those guys the party is already past the halfway point.

30

DO.NOT.USE.ROUND UP! While you might be cool with the cancer risks, your neighbors might not be okay with that shit in their soul and ground water.

Blackberries are a menace, but at least you can eat the berries, English ivys and those wretched Scotch Brooms that are all over our woods, on the other hand...

31

*soil, not soul, sigh

32

Blackberries are delicious. The Stranger is not.

33

@23 You can absolutely get rid of them if you do the job right. My condo had a wall of blackberries, so we tore them out and several years later, they haven’t returned.

34

I eradicated blackberries from my yard and didn’t dig any root balls. I cut the stem to below ground level, then line trim them several times when they try to regrow. After a few times being line trimmed, they stop growing. Round up and the like is expensive, generally ineffective, bad for the animals that eat blackberries, and isn’t the best method.
The best way to get rid of scotch broom, is to cut off the head, wait until rainy season and kick the trunk. They pop right out with little effort

35

"The best way to get rid of scotch broom, is to cut off the head, wait until rainy season and kick the trunk. They pop right out with little effort"

Blackberries respond well to that treatment too -- leave a foot or so, enough for a nice handle, and in the Spring, if you're strong enough, pull them out. The ones that don't come willingly are gonna require a little shovel work, and one must be Diligent in the dirt with these thorny fuckers. The second season will show you the ones you missed, and spring is still the best time to tug them out. The sorta lose their ferocity when treated like that.

Oh, and FUCK Round-UP.
Even if YOU are Round-Up Ready™.
This Planet will pay a heavy price for Round-Up's 'convenience.'

(Didja know, they found a rusty old Monsatan sign up on Mars)...

36

@31

Soul is good.

37

Rent a backhoe. Only way to go. Gain supremacy over the fuckers and get them back for all your time spent grubbing them up with a spade.

If you scrape the area with the blade it tends to jostle up the roots so you can pick them out. In a serious patch it's more root mass than topsoil.

38

9 11 12 on volcanic ash- you are doing it wrong. Just have an old testament-sized volcanic event blotting out the sun for years on end with ever-circulating clouds of the stuff. Those stupid himalaya blackberries wont even have a chance.

39

37 too much work. Just plant english ivy. Over time the ivy even climbs up the blackberry canes and eventually blots out any un-preppy plant life.

Y'all suck at this.

40

I did a good job cleaning up the blackberries in one corner of my yard a couple years ago. It looks a lot better but I regretted it a little when I realized there would be no fruit to collect. I wish I could grow them without them taking over. I'll have to settle for raspberries.

41

@23 - I think that you are suggesting we serve squirrel with a tasty blackberry chutney?

These plants are the devil. Not the measles of plants, more like the Ebola of plants. Although I'll gladly eat the berries off the ones in other peoples' yards. There must be something in Armenia that naturally eats them. Let's find it & get some.

42

"There must be something in Armenia that naturally eats them."

Over here, we call them Goats.

43

@40 I grow a few varieties of thornless blackberries in my urban yard that are heavenly to eat. I don't have any trouble with them taking over. Perhaps they are cultivars not related to the 'Himalayan' variety. Raintree Nursery has a good selection.

44

43 you declawed your blackberry bushes!! How inhumane of you. How are they supposed to survive out there without their protective spikes. Cruel is what you are.

45

Other than getting the root up, salt will kill them without the environmental catastrophe of roundup. The salt kind composed of sodium chloride or calcium chloride (there's a lot of different salts, some that plants like). Also horticultural vinegar (20% concentrate) will also work. Don't do both of these things together to avoid harming nearby vegetation.