Controlling Himalayan blackberry

Asked July 1, 2013, 11:44 AM EDT

I recently learned that the fungal rust Phragmidium violaceum now exists in Oregon and attacks blackberries. I recently purchased a property with a bad infestation of blackberries and would like to get some of the fungal rust if possible. I realize the understandable caution experts express concerning possible undesirable consequences from the rust, but I think my property might be a good site for its use. There are no berry crops in the area and little actual crop production of any kind other than grass hay in the area. Is there a chance my property could be used as a test plot? I would be willing to work with scientists in any way they wish.

Lane County Oregon plant pathology

3 Responses

Here is a link to a Fact Sheet on Himalaya blackberry and P. violaceum.
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/coos/sites/default/files/agriculture/cces213blackberryrustfungusmay...

Studies are ongoing. We hope to have P. violaceum approved as a sanctioned weed biological control agent in the US. Thank you for offering your property for study but we have established field plots. Progress can be followed on the Oregon Department of Agriculture Weed Division website or Coos County Oregon State University Extension Service website (above).

Thanks for your response. Last weekend when I was clearing berry bushes, I noticed the signature leaf marking indicative of the rust, so I appear to already have it on the property. Would researchers like any information from me or access to the property?

If you'd like to leave your contact information with the front office, we can let you know if we are ever in need of another site for something such as a field day. Contact rhonda.fischer@oregonstate.edu