Getting rid of Blackberries
Hi, My yard has been taken over by a hoard of blackberry vines. I know I can cut them down, but how do I keep them from comming back. I have bad hips and back so digging out the roots isn't an option. What I think I need is something to treat the root that will kill it. Any help you can give would be most appreciated. . . Thank You Tom Thompson
Multnomah County Oregon weed issues
Good day, and thank you for using Ask an Expert. You’re correct in saying that digging is useful in getting rid of blackberries. But when one’s back complains bitterly, other methods can be used.
Your goal is to starve out the roots. Several methods work but none are a once and done sort of thing. In general, every time green growth pops up, it should be removed. You may be able to take care of it yourself or you may want to use hired help.
“Wild Blackberries” outlines mechanical and chemical strategies. Mechanical includes removing the greenery every week or two; whenever the plants are allowed to grow for a longer period of time, it will help the roots re-gain strength – not a good thing. Soil-applied herbicides (weed killers) would need to be applied by licensed applicators of a landscape management company whereas various plant-applied products can be obtained and used by home gardeners. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/PESTNOTES/pnwildblackberries.pdf
Know that getting rid of the blackberry will be your new hobby for the next several years. But also understand that your persistence will win the battle!