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Invasive Plants: Blackberries

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SalemSunshine
Salem, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2006
2:40 AM

Post #2078436

Here I was sooo excited that I have blackberries growing along my backyard fence, and they were delicious last summer.
I was at Wally World looking for an arbor to train them over, and the employees in the nursery there scared the heck out of me regarding blackberries. They said it's like the blob and will take over and kill everything in it's path.

Has anyone had these experiences? Any luck containing them to one area without too much work?
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2006
5:12 AM

Post #2078725

Yes, don't worry. They can be contained. They will try to spread, but just keep pruning them back. In addition, you'll have lots coming up wherever you or the birds drop berries, but they're very easy to pull when they're small, and they're easy to dig up when they get too big to pull.

I once moved into a place with half an acre of blackberries and I dug them up and got rid of them successfully, keeping only a few plants in one small corner.
Soferdig
Kalispell, MT
(Zone 4b)

March 1, 2006
5:16 AM

Post #2078729

they are the gift God gave the pacific NW. You bet they grow rapidly. I always removed them from my property and picked along the road. Then I did not have to control them at home. I always used a goat to chop them to the ground and it worked well. An employee of mine in Seattle had pigmy goats. They are neat.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2006
5:22 AM

Post #2078735

They are from He__! They have infective mean thorns that you MUST have gloves on to pull! Maybe Zuzu doesn't think they are a curse, but in my book they are terrible. You get one started and they spread underground and are almost impossible to get rid of, much less the pain of grabbing one that you don't recognize until it has bitten you. I would give any thing to never have any ever in my yard.
An arbor, are you kidding??? I don't think so. These are not roses.
IMO
Sidney
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2006
5:35 AM

Post #2078744

Oh, yes. I forgot to mention the gloves -- chain mail, if you can find them. LOL. Sidney's absolutely right about the thorns.

They are actually easier to contain than many other things, however. Maybe they're more rampant in Florida than in California.
Soferdig
Kalispell, MT
(Zone 4b)

March 1, 2006
5:37 AM

Post #2078746

We used to pick the berries in the center of the "hedge" with a piece of plywood 4'x8' laid on the bush and would start up the plant and plywood crushing the vine and picking the spectacular fruit. (again along side the Road or in the woods) never in my back yard. They get pretty ugly in the winter and you bet if you kick a ball into the bush even a Jack russell won't go in for it.
joepyeweed
Peoria, IL

March 1, 2006
3:55 PM

Post #2079392

They are aggressive but are easily controlled. You can weed wack them or mow them with the lawn mower if they are not too tall.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2006
7:17 PM

Post #2079791

I believe the "wilds" is the best place for them. Now will Jax and the state of Fla object to my painting in large letters on top of my house "Hey Birds, Please don't poop in my yard"?
LOL
Sidney
MaryMD7
Chesapeake Beach, MD

March 3, 2006
2:17 PM

Post #2083617

Although there is, I believe, an indigenous trailing blackberry in the Pacific Northwest, most of the blackberries found up there are the dreaded himalayan blackberries, one of the most noxious of noxious weeds.

If that's what you've got, I, personally, would eradicate those and instead cultivate a native blackberry or well-behaved cultivar.

Wine berries are a horrible exotic pest in the mid-Atlantic, and, while I enjoyed the berries, I finally pulled the volunteers all out of my yard and now grow a well-behaved raspberry cultivar instead.
renwings
Sultan, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 3, 2006
11:56 PM

Post #2084733

The berries are spectacular.
I DO NOT let them grow in my yard, though. Your neighbors will curse the day you moved in. You have to get the little guys before they get taller than a few inches because they spread via their root system as well . Anywhere the tip of the branch touches, it will grow roots there too and you will have another.

You can FORGET about training them. They will do as they please and they will be out of control before you know it. Any fruit that falls or the birds get and you will have more and more and more . . . And the bigger you let them get ( I have have a few that I literally had to SAW through, I'm talking bigger around than my fist) the hard it is to get rid of them and all their little babies.

Please, don't encourage it. There are lots of nice alternatives.
escambiaguy
Atmore, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2006
4:47 AM

Post #2085314

The vines do get a little annoying but oh' the memories I have as a child picking blackberries with a big ole plastic butter bowl. I let them grow at the edge of the woods but I don't have a problem with them in my lawn area. I personally like them. Have you seen the prices of blackberries at the grocery store? They are expensive.
cuckoo4rblackbe
Savannah, MO
(Zone 5b)

March 5, 2006
9:10 PM

Post #2089013

My wife has family in Oregon and I have had the experience of picking wild blackberries there. Oh my goodness I have never seen such luscious berries in my life as they grow in the great northwest!!! We made delectible pies, ice cream, etc. out of the blackberries that just grow wild everywhere.
Here at home in Missouri we have wild blackraspberries and wild blackberries that are delicious but a bit smaller. They require a lot of energy to pick in Missouri's heat and humidity but sure make for some delicious jam, jelly, or pies. A few years ago I planted several kinds of blackberries and many are thornless. Yes thornless,and I've had tremendous success growing them and harvesting them for jams, jellies. crisps, blackberry buckle, pies, etc.
When I create a few small brushpiles for the wildlife I will have wild blackberries and wild blackraspberries grow up in the brushpiles as if I had put a trellis there for them. Picking them is quite easier but watch out for the thorns!!!!
I control my tame or thornless blackberries with my pruning saw,mower, and tiller. This would be impossible on rocky areas and may have to be sprayed to control them.

cuckoo
afr
Dallas, TX

March 23, 2006
9:59 PM

Post #2134097

Wild blackberries are commonly called by the local variant name "dewberries" in rural Texas.
Everything that has been stated already about the vicious thorns and rampant spreading is true. As a child, I was taken to roadside thickets where they grew naturally to pick the fruit; there was no need to cultivate and control them in a garden setting.
Also, it is commonly supposed in Texas (whether it is in fact true or not) that the thorny brambles are a favorite habitat of the poisonous copperhead snake!
MaryMD7
Chesapeake Beach, MD

March 24, 2006
4:41 PM

Post #2136081

There are wild blackberries and there are wild blackberries. As thorny as some of the bramble thickets can get in other states, the himalayan blackberry problem of the pacific northwest is at a level (and an ecological nightmare) that is far beyond what people in these other areas are talking about. You simply should not, in my opinion, be cultivating himalayan blackberries in the pacific northwest where lots of lots of $$$ is being spent to try to control a positively evil exotic invasive.
cmccrell
Honeoye Falls, NY

April 23, 2006
9:20 PM

Post #2214494

Now, I just planted an Arapaho blackberry in a raised bed next to a raspberry that was given to me. The raspberry was planted last year and little sprouts of new bits of it are everywhere in the raised bed, but it hasn't travelled to the lawn. Is this what I should worry about with a blackberry, a trip to the lawn?
JoieM
Portland, OR
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2006
8:02 AM

Post #2327420

You must be new to Oregon if you are even THINKING about growing them on purpose. There are so many places that they are growing rampant if you love the berries. Don't do it to yourself, you WILL regret it. We spend half our gardening energy cutting them back, pulling their runners out and it is NOT fun. They are an evil, blood thirsty, prickly invasive plant and your neighbors will hate you for it. here is an interesting site about the different varieties found in Oregon, though, incase you don't have the Himalayan kind (by FAR the most common) http://www.oregon-berries.com/cx1/cx1a.htm
kimcheebaby
Valdosta, GA
(Zone 8b)

June 15, 2006
7:37 AM

Post #2392233

Wish I could chime in on the "luscious berries" part, but the ones around my neck of the woods are just thorny little devils that may or may not give you a piddly amount of fruit...not worth the trouble of picking.

You can't throw a stone around here and not hit a blackberry bramble. They're everywhere. And talk about tough...I've had blue jeans ripped to shreds from trying to walk through a brambled path.

My advice? Get rid of the nasty little buggers and plant a cultivated variety...preferably thornless.
mikekilhoffer
Chatham, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 21, 2006
6:35 AM

Post #2415188

My brother bought a house with White Raspberries last year. This spring I have spent over a week's worth of time removing them. they took over all the flower beds and grew happily under the entirety of his pool deck. They do taste good, but they hurt quite a bit when they poke through the deckboards. I had never seen a plant that grows so well in complete shade except maybe morning glory.
westocast73

(Zone 1)

July 7, 2006
1:50 AM

Post #2476309

MaryMD7 You are right about our nightmarish blackberry problem. It is EVERYWHERE and it is the nasty exotics with the thorns thats spreading and has wipped out many native Blackberries near cities ( You can still find native blackberries in the woods) our native blackberry is thornless so it figures this thorny hell spawn would take over. Pity

"Two varieties of blackberry were imported to the US in the 19th century: the evergreen blackberry and the giant Himalayan blackberry. They escaped cultivation, hybridized with each other and with native blackberries, and produced the "weed" blackberry that takes over yards and empty lots on the west coast. "Weed" blackberries produce less fruit than cultivated varieties (they are dioecious), and are thornier."

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