What can I plant in a forest to keep it from getting too overgrown with shrubs and blackberries?

Asked November 2, 2020, 7:36 PM EST

My family's small woodlot was recently thinned which really opened the forest up. In years past, the forest was too overgrown to enjoy. Hiking there was impossible due to blackberries, poison oak, and other brush. The logging equipment tilled up a lot of the underbrush and the forest is much more accessible and pleasant for walks. Are there any grasses or forbs that I can plant to slow down the return of the overgrown understory and keep the forest usable for hiking? I've read about planting native grass species that can provide some competition. Are there any particular mixes that are recommended for Benton County? I know it will take some work on my part to maintain the area the way I want, but I'm hoping there are some natural ways to make my job easier. The area is still quite shaded but gets some sun. Thanks for the help!

Benton County Oregon

1 Response


A good question with surprisingly complicated answers.
The short answer though is "probably not". The brush species, native and other are down but not out. Desirable grasses and forbs would have a tough time competing, and holding them in check. I am afraid that is your job.
We should talk so I can help you think it through, decide on some strategy. Please email me a phone number where I can reach you. Brad.w-r@oregonstate.edu