Weed Killer for Brambles


Brambles are a spreading plant that can easily take over a gardening space. Brambles are in the Rubus family, which is related to roses -- hence the thorny characteristic of the plant. Many of the spreading berries are in the group. Brambles are a woody perennial that goes dormant in the winter months and shows regrowth in late winter to early spring. Fruit production occurs spring through summer, depending on the variety.

Propagation and Spread

Bramble is such a nuisance because it grows in sneaky locations. Well cared for lawns and garden spaces rarely have problems, but neglected or overgrown areas can harbor seedlings which rapidly grow and fill in the area. It is difficult to get rid of brambles because they have a complicated underground growing structure. While brambles can propagate from seed, the most common way is from rooted stems or shoots. These stems and shoots become daughter plants and can spread many feet away from the parent, making it difficult to find all the progeny. Roots can grow almost 18 inches deep and produce suckers.


Bramble is found in ornamental settings; false raspberry is one example. This is a plant with attractive curved leaves with reddish pigmentation on the edges; it produces an orange raspberry-type fruit. Wild or cultivated brambles include blackberry, which is both a blessing and a curse. The fruits are delicious and commonly cultivated, but the vast spread and hardiness of the plant makes it a nightmare to remove when it has overstepped its welcome. Raspberries are a caning variety of bramble of which black raspberry, thimble berry and black cap are all derivatives.


Consistent cultivation can disturb infant roots of bramble and disrupt the growing cycle enough to keep it from emerging. Grazing animals are also effective management, especially goats who do not mind the spines of the plants. Cutting off the shoots is ineffective since it encourages regrowth in the form of suckers. Natural management is difficult to orchestrate, but several introductions of insects and fungi that destroy the plant have shown some control.


Triclopyr is a very effective control for bramble. It is absorbed through leaves and stems but can be used as a base treatment to penetrate roots. Metsulfuron-methyl may not show a kill until the following season. It is a slow moving treatment that needs to be applied every two years to control new growth outside the main plant body. Glysophate is the active ingredient in Round-up and several other herbicides. It is a foliar systemic, penetrating leaves to infiltrate the entire vascular system. By itself, it has limited control capacity, but it has excellent control when mixed with triclopyr or other herbicides. Hexazinone is applied to dry soil and cannot be used near the roots of un-targeted plants or where run-off will occur.


Application is generally achieved by spraying but can also take the form of individual topical doses. Application should be performed when foliage is dry and during the period between petal leaf and petal fall. This is usually late summer for first year canes and early fall for older canes. Bramble plants that are stressed due to drought or over-grazing will not respond as well to herbicide transport. The preferred time for application is when the plant is preparing to go dormant and has the highest transportation of sugars in its system.

Keywords: blackberry control, bramble weed killer, herbicides for bramble

About this Author

Bonnie Grant began writing professionally in 1990. She has been published on Web sites like GardenGuide and eHow. Grant recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management with a hospitality focus from South Seattle Community College.