How to Get Rid of Wild Blackberry Bushes

Overview

Finding a wild blackberry vine on your property causes mixed emotions for most homeowners. On one hand, you will be able to pick your own juicy berries fresh from the vine. On the other hand, the bushes are prickly and invasive, so they can interfere with growing other plants. If you decide to remove your wild blackberry vines, be diligent in your endeavors, because these are very hardy plants. The good news is that wild blackberries do not drain the soil of vital nutrients, so grass or crops planted after the blackberries are removed will do fine.

Step 1

Cut 2-foot sections of the blackberry canes off all the way around the bush with garden pruners. Work from the top down in a circular pattern. If you are removing multiple vines, work all the way across the front side of your wild blackberry plants before cutting the sides or back.

Step 2

Continue cutting off 2-foot sections until you are left with a tall, stocky center that resembles a stem with only tiny shoots coming out of it. Cut this piece off a foot at a time until it is down to ground level.

Step 3

Make a slit in the ground that is about 6 inches deep with the sharp edge of your shovel at one corner of the bush. Make three more of these slits on each corner. Connect these slits with a small trench.

Step 4

Push your shovel under the root system 4 to 5 inches, and lift the bush out. Remove the root crown and any side shoots, and discard.

Step 5

Loosen the soil in the area with a garden hoe by starting with chops in the soil 2 to 3 inches apart. Chop from left to right the length of the area and then work back toward the beginning. Continue chopping until the dirt looks and feels as though it has been recently tilled and has no hard lumps or debris.

Step 6

Work the soil in a back and forth motion with your rake, starting at the edge of the cleared area and working toward the opposite end. Mix the soil evenly with the rake. Loosen remaining remnants of the root as you are doing this. Pick these pieces out of the soil and throw them away.

Step 7

Sow grass seed over the area where the bush was removed. Do this by hand if the area is small, or use a seed spreader over a larger area.

Step 8

Water the new seed lightly with a watering can, and cover them with hay to a depth of about 1/2 inch.

Step 9

Check often to see if weeds are growing among the grass, or if the blackberry bushes seem to be returning. Remove unwanted plants by hand if they are present.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when handling blackberry vines to avoid being scratched by the thorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden pruners
  • Shovel
  • Garden hoe
  • Garden rake
  • Grass seed
  • Watering can
  • Bale of straw

References

  • Pesticide.org: Nonchemical Methods for Removing Unwanted Blackberry Plants
Keywords: blackberry vines, wild blackberries, backyard gardening

About this Author

Misty Amber Brighton has been writing for 10 years. Her writing experience includes Trails Travels and GolfLink. She is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and attends South University.