Getting Rid of Blackberry Bushes

Blackberry bushes can grow very quickly in spring and summer and are very invasive. Even though the berries are edible and tasty, the bushes are very difficult to get rid of. This is a guide about getting rid of blackberry bushes.

Photo of blackberries on the vine.
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We are constantly battling blackberries in our yard. For under $5 my husband was able to put together a set of gloves that allows him to pull the blackberries out, roots and all, without being cut to shreds!


  • 1 pair nitrile coated gloves
  • 1 pair cotton gloves
  • 1 pair heavy leather work gloves
gloves on table


  1. Put on the nitrile coated gloves.
  2. nitrile coated glove
  3. Now put on the cotton gloves.
  4. cotton glove
  5. Finally, add the leather gloves. Now you are ready to tackle those blackberries.
  6. leather glove
CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

When the young blackberries begin to grow up out of the 10 inch wood chip mulch, how do I till it without disturbing the mulch pile? Do I need to just redo the whole thing every time I spot some green?

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes


    Blackberries are pruned in the winter by cutting to the ground all the branches that have born fruits and keeping only 5 or 6 new branches. These new branches should be pruned to less than 2 meters (the longest the branches will grow the less fruits they will bear). These new branches are the sprouts you are talking about. Let them grow to a lenght that will help you select the 5 or 6 strongest. Cut the weakest ones to the ground.This sprouts will the new branches for the next season.

    Hope this helps!


    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I'm from Oregon and we have thousands and thousands of blackberry bushes. However the ones that keep coming up year after year are threatening to take over my yard and my sanity...

    Does anyone know of a homemade (preferably) or even a store-bought cure for these? I am on a limited income and not in the best of health, so paying a professional is out of the question along with digging them out (which was tried several times over the years). Please help..and thank you in advance!

    Anna Moon

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I have 2.5 acres 30% of which is covered in blackberry vines. I've started to tackle a large cluster that has over grown my sceptic drainfield. Using just a rake and a pair of long handled pruners, I've made a good size dent withing 30 minutes of demolition. Going for their roots and treating them with vinegar and salt water does the trick.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    Tackling blackberries is a pain in more than one way. With the proper clothing and equipment, you can pull blackberries without injury.


    • 1 set Blackberry Pulling Gloves
    • long pants, preferrably 2 layers
    • long sleeves, preferrably 2 layers
    • rubber boots
    • loppers, if necessary


    1. Wear long sleeves. A denim shirt or jacket is best. Otherwise a sweatshirt with another shirt underneath may work.
    2. long sleeves
    3. Wear long pants, such as jeans. If you have a pair of long underwear, those work as a good under layer.
    4. Wear rubber boots, with your pants tucked inside. The thickest blackberries will be about shin height.
    5. long pants and boots
    6. Assemble a set of blackberry pulling gloves.
    7. blackberry pulling gloves
    8. Now you are ready to tackle those blackberries and WIN! :)
    9. tackling blackberries 1tackling blackberries 2tackling blackberries 3
    10. NOTE: If possible, pull the blackberries out with the roots. You can use loppers to cut off the tall stuff for better access, if necessary.
    11. get the roots
    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Who sells vinegar/salt killer?

    By Elaine

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    You can mix your own vinegar/salt weed killer. Mix one gallon of white vinegar with one cup of salt and two tablespoons of liquid dish detergent. Shake/stir well, to dissolve the salt. Spray this on the plant/plants that you want to kill. It works best when the temperature is quite warm. Don't get the mixture on plants, that you don't want to kill! Buy the cheapest vinegar that you can find too!

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Most of the posts I've read for killing wild blackberry vines were from folks in the NW part of the country. My problem is I live in NW Florida and these things aren't working. I've tried some of the products from DIY stores and some of the ways that were posted on line. I loved the homemade ideas as I have 4 dogs. And yet, still they grow!
    We bought an older home that sat uncared for and then empty for 4 years. Our lot is just over an acre and most of it is covered with the vine. Any advise on how to kill this stuff without killing what bit of grass and plants I do have?

    By Keli

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I live in the Central Midwest and I use this to kill poison ivy and oak, which is terribly invasive. Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 cup of cheap salt and 2 cups of Dawn dish soap and spray using a garden sprayer. You might have to cut the vines so the mixture will soak into the stem. But I have found with oak and ivy vines that are hundreds of years old getting the leaves covered will usually do the trick. You will have to reapply several times but it better than chemicals. The soap will make the mixture cling to the plant and the vinegar will burn it and the salt will dry it out. GOOD LUCK!

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I just moved into my property and the back garden is full of blackberry bushes. How can I kill the roots permanently?

    By Annette from the UK

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I moved to north east Scotland in 2010 and have spent the last two years trying to get all the blackberry canes out of my front garden where I don't want any kind of berries growing. I love brambles and have a patch in the back garden, but the front is for kerb appeal! So the minute I see a cane waving at me, I trace it to the ground and dig it out trying very hard to get every last bit of root.

    I'm an American expat so I am still learning about gardening here in the UK, but I'm sure there is an herbicide I could spray to kill off the lot. However, there are other plants in that spot that I do want to encourage, so I hand dig the canes.

    You might try asking at one of the garden centres what they recommend for killing off a large growth. Otherwise, the only way to get rid of this is by hand digging, and then staying on it every time you see a new cane. (Handy hint-wear stout gloves!)

    It will take you a while to hand dig them all out, and even then you'll have to be vigilant because the birds will bring you pressies, lol, and you'll find you have volunteers of all sorts of thing:) Too bad they won't drop me off any raspberries, darn it-I had to buy those to plant in the back garden!

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    We are constantly battling blackberries in our yard. For under $5 my husband was able to put together a set of gloves that allows him to pull the blackberries out, roots and all, without being cut to shreds! View the full project here: Homemade Blackberry Pulling Gloves

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Tackling blackberries is a pain in more than one way. With the proper clothing and equipment, you can pull blackberries without injury.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I don't believe in herbicides, they kill far more life than those intended. So, confronted with a backyard threatened to be comsumed, and deciding to limit the destruction. I bought and borrowed some good cutting instruments, both long reaching and shorter, sharp shovel, heavy duty gloves, old tough jeans & high boots. These last items limit the damage to you, as the bushes want a taste of you (defense on the plants part).

    Taking a small area at a time, I cut as much as I could starting at the top, then cutting smaller sections, until the bottom. Then using the shovel, digging them up with more cutting as necessary. If reversing (bottom to top) is easier on you, do it. All the cut material can be mulched at the site or in a compost pile. Shred into small bits if possible.

    You might contact a local nursery or plant group to see if anyone wants the roots or rooting plants. You might even make money! This is probably not a one weekend project.

    The benefits are: You are rid of blackberries. You are being in touch with your yard and nature. You know you are keeping the world clean of poisons (herbicides do some very nasty things to other living beings after it leaves your property). It is excellent exercise and personal stress release.

    Cursing in low tones recommended unless alone, though ocassional yells can bring help! Please keep in mind, the Good points about these plants. There are many. Good luck!

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Does anyone know how to kill off wild blackberry vines? I'm getting overrun. This bush is growing out of a tree stump that we can't get to. We cut the tree down to the ground just 3 weeks ago and this is how fast the blackberries have grown back. It's spreading into the lawn. I tried a grass and weed killer, but it hasn't phased it.

    Hardiness Zone: 7b

    By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

    Getting Rid of Blackberry Bushes

    In western Oregon we also suffer from the same problem. We've sprayed with Round-up and cut, cut, cut. I've never heard of anybody ridding themselves of blackberries totally. If you can you could burn the stump. (05/31/2009)

    By Glenn'sMom

    Getting Rid of Blackberry Bushes

    I'm shaking my head watching my boyfriend trying to dig each plant up by the roots. He doesn't want to hear me tell him that he broke all the roots. Or use my no fail organic way. Cut each bush to the base. Make sure these cuttings are disposed of (by burning or removal) as you cut, put a drop of Tabasco sauce at the ground level cut. This will kill the root totally, and the bush will not grow back. This also works for scotch broom, morning glory, or probably any other deep rooted plant. (06/12/2010)

    By lavaja

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    By Ellen Brown

    Q: I live in the Pacific Northwest where blackberry bushes can be a real pain to get rid of. I just moved into a house that had a backyard full of them. I am almost done cutting them back. What is the best way to keep them from growing back?

    Patty from Washington

    A: Patty,

    Blackberry bushes can be tough so you need to be tougher. Here is what won't work: mowing, burning, or bulldozing. All these methods only stimulate sucker growth or sever stems and roots resulting in their spread. Short of becoming a goat herder, the most successful method is repeatedly tilling of the briars, keyword "repeatedly."

    Although I'm not a proponent of chemical herbicides, some people report success by combining cutting back with Round-up or Bush-Be-Gone. If you choose this route, apply when the plants are moving sugars from cane to roots (after producing fruit). Avoid application when bushes are bearing fruit to keep birds, animals, and unsuspecting passersby safe.

    About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. <a href="add.ldml">Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

    Getting Rid of Blackberry Bushes

    They are evil. There are two things that I've found to work: Roundup Brush killer and animals such as pigs that root around and eat the roots. (10/25/2005)

    By Jen

    Getting Rid of Blackberry Bushes

    There is only one, I've known to work "Crossbow".

    There is a few catches:

    1. Its expensive.
    2. You have to use it as directed, "more" is not better and less isn't enough. More kills the plant too fast and won't allow the chemical to get to the root, too little won't be strong enough to kill them for good, so if it says use a 12 to 1 mixture that's what it means.
    3. If you have them as bad as I have, you may have to treat the area once in the spring and again in the fall.
    4. It is meant to kill leafy plants, so be sure to spray it directly to the weed (blackberry in this case). It does stick to what you spray it on to.

      By Ibbuzy_sam

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Home and Garden Gardening Weeds Woody and Vining WeedsJuly 11, 2011
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