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Weed of the month: Blackberry

Blackberry is classified as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS). This is due to its invasive nature, potential to spread and its economic and environmental impacts.  On farms it reduces pasture production and thereby stocking rates, restricts access to land, provides food and shelter for feral animals such as rabbits and is a haven for snakes. Fire hazard risk is also increased due to the large amount of dead material within blackberry thickets. All of these aspects dramatically reduce property values.

A species of blackberry was first brought to Australia for planting in gardens and hedgerows. Blackberry was grown to provide fruit for jams and pies. Records from a blackberry-picking enterprise in Bulli NSW document that four tones of fruite was sent to Sydney for manufacture into jams in 1894.

The Government Botanist in Victoria, Baron von Mueller, and the first Curator of the Gardens at Melbourne University, Alexander Elliot recommended that blackberry be planted to control soil erosion along creek banks. In spite of the plant’s recognised benefits, its potential weediness and associated problems were also quickly recognised. (Extract from following website) control-manual-part-1.pdf


Blackberries can be controlled by using herbicides – Glyphosate mixed with Metsulphuron 600. Mix at the rate of 1 litre of Glyphosate 360 to 100 litres of rain water and add 20mg of Metsulphuron 600 to the mix; alternatively Grazon® or a generic containing 300 g/litre of Triclopyr plus 100 g/litre of Picloram, mixed at the rate of 350 ml per 100 litres of rain water plus 20 mg Metsulphuron 600 dissolved prior to adding to the mix.  If using Grazon® or a generic, a wetting agent will be required.

The result of the application with Glyphosate will not be noticed until the next season. Do not slash or burn the bushes until the  following season after the bush has died.  This will allow time for the herbicide to penetrate into the root system.  A follow up spray the next season may be necessary to kill off any new emerging seedlings.   Caution. Glyphosate will kill everything it comes in contact with including any surrounding grasses.

Always read the label on the container and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Metsulphuron is available through LANDCARE at the cost of $25.00 per 500mg container.

Contact Ken Ferguson-65797077 for supply. 

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