Raspberry and blackberry control

Asked August 27, 2020, 7:28 PM EDT

Would tilling the soil work to control an area overgrown by these rubus species? If not, would you recommend triclopyr?

Grand Traverse County Michigan

1 Response

Most brambles produce rhizomes, or underground stems. When these stems are cut or chopped through tillage small segments can often sprout and generate a "new" plant, therefore in some instances tillage can exacerbate overgrown populations. If you are able to till repeatedly eventually you will deplete the rhizome system and kill the plant, however this could take several seasons depending on how well your plants are established.

Triclopyr is a good option to control undesirable perennial species like brambles. There are a couple of options for application. The one I recommend most is to cut the plants at the base and treat the freshly-cut stems with concentrated triclopyr (<5 minutes after cutting). This minimizes the potential for the herbicide to move in the environment. You can also treat the foliage when the plant is actively growing. In either case it is essential that you read and follow all labeled directions on the product you are using.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at hiller12@msu.edu.