Blackberry zone restoration
Hi there, I’m working on removing invasive blackberries from under some oak and fir trees and want to rehabilitate the area. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for what to plant (it’s a pretty big space maybe 1500 square feet). Also if there are any reasons for less expensive or donations of native plants. Or if there are any grants/ aide available for property owners. Thanks! Liz Babbs
Lane County Oregon
What to plant will depend on your objectives for the area. If you'd like to restore it to a more native oak woodland or savannah habitat then, a native grass and forb mix that is sun loving will do the trick you can find these at a few local native nurseries. If you are looking for shrubs to replace the blackberries then things like snowberry, ocean spray, elderberry, oregon grape, red flowering current, ninebark, and cenothous will do well in the sun and create enough shade to help get a hold of the blackberries while providing small mammal and bird habitat. However, both options will need maintenance. The blackberries are tenacious and will continue to come back for multiple years until you really get a handle on them. Shrubs will also grow to be large and thicket-like so keep that in mind if that is the route you choose.
It is also important to think about time of year as well. Typically planing and seeding occurs in the fall when there is lots of rain to support the new root growth. If you decide to start planting things in the summer they will likely need to be watered.
Unfortunately, i don't know of any grants or aid for these types of projects on this small of a space, or places that will donate plants, but you can usually get plants a little less expensive at the lane county master gardener plant sale that happens in the spring of each year and the lane county small woodlands association sale that happens the first Saturday in February each year. The next ones are in 2021 though and I'm not sure you'll want to leave that soil bare for that long.
Good luck with your project!