What's the best way to clear a blackberry thicket?

Hedge trimmer, propane weed torch, or both?

Before anyone says "use a brush hog", it's on a steep slope. I don't think I can get a brush hog up there.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    use hogs
    they'll dig up the roots and eat it

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Thought about that already. This is a small thicket, maybe 40 feet wide by 50 feet long. A pair of hogs would require fencing and some sort of shelter. Even if I eat the hogs afterwards to recoup some of the cost, it's not cost-effective.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >small thicket, maybe 40 feet wide by 50 feet long
        This is what I cleared out two years ago, except it wasn't blackberry but barberry and multiflora rose. Unfortunately you really might just have to resort to hand tools like a machete and hedge clippers. I chopped everything with the machete and then used the hedgeclippers to clip the left over stems all the way to the ground. Took me maybe two weeks to do. It's an area I go to a lot so I would just step on any new foliage and it eventually died.
        Watch out for poison ivy, my whole arms were covered when I was done.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If anyone around has some you might be able to make an arrangement. Weirder things have been done by Craigslist

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Would hogs also be good for removing bushes like those?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Generally speaking, and contrary to popular understanding, cows are the best animal for keeping brush beaten down, eaten, and cleared. They clear a large area per cow vs goats. They require very little by way of fencing to keep enclosed compared to goats. You basically just have to water them and have a halfway serviceable t post fence.

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    kubota with attachment?

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Brushcutter/strimmer with a mulching blade. If you don't want it to grow back get the roundup, but if you cut it a few times it will grow back slower and slower, like you have to cut it maybe once a year.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      This plus paint the exposed cut stems with herbicide. Lets you be more selective than just spraying the whole area.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Mow it with a rotary mower, then spray what comes up.

      This plus paint the exposed cut stems with herbicide. Lets you be more selective than just spraying the whole area.

      Roundup, poisons them through the leaves so that the roots actually die.

      >roundup
      You get identical results from using a pound of table salt per gallon of water with a non-ionic surfactant or dish soap. Safe for most lawns too. Just wait a couple weeks between applications.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I've sprayed just about everything at one point or another as far as the major herbicicdes and home remedies go, and I'll be the first to tell you I've never used a home remedy that worked as well as Roundup, Triclopyr, 2 4-d, or Dicamba etc.

        I mean I'm not saying it's bs, people should use what works, but sometime you just have to spray shit imho. I've got things that even the roundup struggles to deal with. Generally the triclopyr does better on really hard to kill stuff. There are a few plant oil based ones that I heard some road crews are using now that seem like they do a good job I just never really bothered with those new bioherbicides.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          In my experience roundup is garbage.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I think roundup is pretty solid if you spray the right concentration.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Maybe. They advertise that they can kill morning glory, roots and all, but I know a lot of people who have tried and I've never even heard of someone succeeding. I've applied glyphosate based weed and feed to a lawn at the recommended rate and it didn't even kill the dandelions. I don't think it kills goat heads either. Salt isn't a perfect herbicide, but I've had much better results with it.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                I use glyphosate from a 200 gallon tractor sprayer on fence rows firebreaks etc. It does a decent job imho on pretty much everything. You have to have a pretty strong concentration to kill woody stuff like the cherry laurel though. My biggest problem with it is how is strings up and gums to a tank that isnt totally empty.

                Around the yard I prefer the triclopyr because it is a bit easier on the grasses which I don't mind taking the time and hitting with the weed whacker.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Salt definitely doesn't get stringy. Maybe you should give it a try. Depending on what you pay for round up it could even be cheaper. To fill your tank you'd need 200lbs of salt, which at the price I pay would be a little over $60 plus the cost of your surfactant. Initially I bought a bag from a company, but after I compared the ingredients and efficacy against store bought salt I just kept the bag for reference. Pic related.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Does the salt stay in the soil?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Not really. It will accumulate if you aren't spacing out your treatments, but with regular irrigation it's flushed out pretty quick. I've also dumped straight salt on shrub stumps to keep them from growing back and it definitely kills them, but it makes the soil sodic and it still hasn't recovered yet after nearly a year.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                supposedly sulfur and/or lime/gypsum can help displace high sodium, if the area is getting enough water and draining properly

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                It has really poor drainage. I might do something to improve the drainage eventually, but I've got a lot of other things to get done first. Luckily I don't want anything growing there anyways.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Herbicides need to be used within a system of weed management. If you don't have a plan specific to the plant you are trying to eradicate they don't work very effectively. Identifying the plant and searching your local agricultural extension branch for control methods works much better and can minimize the use of herbicides.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I have cut a lot of black berry patches with hedge trimmers. The ones I did were on level ground though so I could go over it with a riding mower once I cut it down.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Mow it with a rotary mower, then spray what comes up.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Use fire if you can do so safely and avoid a fat fine. Usually though, a kubota with a mowing deck works for level areas, or a brush hog. Even more usually, I've had to attack it with any and all hand tools, bladed weapons, and instruments of destruction that I had at the time. A regular shovel with the edges filed sharp works when swung with intent.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Roundup, poisons them through the leaves so that the roots actually die.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    50-100 wide strokes with a chainsaw would do wonders, with a dragging tool for afterwards. What you intend to do with the remains is your concern.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Chainsaw will get gummed up in brambles. A brush blade would be better, but a rotary mower on a tractor that you can use to back over it would be best.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    fire, that stuff doesn't like to rot and just sits there being a thorny woody nuisance

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    This is probably the worst wall of brambles I ever hit. The top of that one is about 7-8 feet high.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Caterpillar D9

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    cement block + hedge trimmers and a rake
    >t. surrounded by blackberry bramble

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    just pry the roots from the ground after you cut the branches.
    pic related. i removed bush roots last summer like that and it worked well.

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Hedge trimmer, propane weed torch, or both?

    Saw blade for a weed whacker. Years back when I was young, I worked landscaping and used one a couple of times but your weed whacker needs to be a model for which saw blades are available.

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Use a large chainsaw and cut it all up then burn it.

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Triclopyr 3A, the non ethanol emulsion. Then just remove and burn

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I like to mow it all down first. Wait for new shoots to put on foliage, then spray the new shoots. Other good option would just be to push it up into a pile with a skid steer and then burn the pile. Then spray the new shoots.

      Use a large chainsaw and cut it all up then burn it.

      Chainsaw is a bad tool for brambles imho. It's just going to get hung up in all those shoots. Rotary mower is the way to go.

  17. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Roundup

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      roundup can eat a dick honestly. gotta keep that bush trimmed and wet but not with that shit ongod

  18. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    always chopped mine with a brush axe. Works a lot better than a machete in my experience because it gets hooked in with each swing. Just wear good long sleeve like hickory shirt and good gloves. I use cowlitz river cotton gloves.

  19. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I'm over here having a surprisingly difficult time getting blackberries to take on my property, which on paper would appear perfect for them.

    And I'm always seeing jackasses whining about a glorious abundance of blackberries that they want to clear out.

    FFS

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I'd say at the bush/vine level, blackberries and dewberries are the most abundant species here. They basically dominate everything else. When it's all said and done I probably mow over acres and acres of them on firebreaks etc. in the course of a year. It probably goes something like this:
      >1. Brambles
      >2. Beauty Berry
      >3. Dog Fennel (sort of a flower/weed I guess)
      >4. Wild Grape
      >5. Goldenrod (more of a flower/weed though I guess)
      >6. Button Bush
      >7. Privet
      >8. various Vaccinium species
      >9. Grounsel
      >10. Winged Sumac

      I've noticed with blackberries there are two main kinds here. On one of them the canes/shoots (or whatever) tend to arch up much higher and be thicker with a more dusty pale leaves. The other tends to grow denser, a bit lower, with sort of a red tinged dark-lime colored green leaf color. The former is much more common. The latter produces much better though.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        My main problem weed is fricking Canadian Wood Nettle. I swear you could nuke my place and 3 days later the whole thing would be covered with wood nettle again.

        My long term goal is to create a more or less self sustaining, native food forest. Planted quite a few PawPaws which are coming along, but that's going to take years before I see much fruit.

        Got a lot of nice pre-existing Mayapple patches that start very strong in spring but before they fruit most of them get choked out by the damn wood nettle.

        A few tiny canes of wild brambleberry here and there but it never seems to grow much. And my attempts to plant various cultivars of blackberry see little success. Must be something about the soil.

        I did try a few raspberries last year that actually look like they're taking off this spring. I might end up going that route.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Where I live, during about now to about fall is basically already a food forest. I mean it goes in this order- dewberry, mayhaw, blackberry, passion fruit, various blueberries (deer berry farkleberry etc.), mulberries, wild plum, crabapple, sugarberry, then maybe wild grape, then pecan, hickory, Chestnut acorn, then persimmon last.

          Some of these though don't make enough to actually harvest. Like Red Mulberry and sugarberry are always sparse. The brambles, pecans, hickory, and wild grapes though are always loaded down more than you can ever pick/pickup though depending on the year. There are a ton of persimmons but good luck beating the deer and racoons once they hit the ground. But I've never actually found Mayapple. I've been looking for it for a long time, I do find gopher apple here and there though. I have a few paw paw trees but the only wild ones I ever find are the narrow leaf shrub paw paw. Asimina angustifolia I think. Here is a pic from last year.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Also here is a pic from this evening of the wild blackberries coming in.

  20. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    some people call it a sling blade, i call it a Kaiser blade...it's got a long handle, like an axe handle, and a blade shaped like a bananer

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Would you say that to Tom Petty?

  21. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Lots of people suggesting the use of tractors, which you've already ruled out. My recommendation is a sickle bar attachment on a pole pruner. Pic related.
    Let's you keep your distance from the pokey shit and also cut a good swath through. When you have it all on the ground you can pile and burn then use a weed wacker with a metal blade attachment to take all the surviving vines down to ground level.
    For chemical control you'll need to mix something into your roundup. Crossbow or similar works well. Roundup is a medium duty herbicide, it will kill the leaves not the woody vine. Crossbow is specifically for fibrous plants, like fruit tree stumps, or wood fiber vines, just like blackberries. If you're feeling especially earth rapey, add a little diesel to your mix. It will help with keeping the chemicals on the plant and also with uptake in the cells.

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