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 page about getting rid of blackberry bushes.


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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!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 22, 2004

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


November 22, 20040 found this helpful

My understanding is blackberries only grow where they are has to do with damp soil and acidity, I think. You can investigate with your local Cooperative Extension Agent usually at the County office. THere are often Master Gardeners also available. These fine people love gardening, take a special class, then volunteer to answer community questions. In addition to the proper preparation of the soil (which can be done slowly and with mulch you make from the food you eat) I have heard of using a syringe and something else...My first stop would be the master gardeners or the BEST nursery in your area. Be sure and share your limitations. The other opportunity is to bless nature and enjoy the bountiful harvest of berries each year :o)

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November 22, 20040 found this helpful

Hi Anna,
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I know how invasive those old blackberries can be. Folks that live elsewhere, these things can take over acres and you get shredded trying to clear them. Finger sized vines with big thorns that grow fast. Here's a good .pdf on controlling them.


What I do is just keep cutting them. Of course, wearing leather work gloves helps a lot to keep from getting shredded. Use some long handled loppers and just keep cutting them everytime you see a new shoot coming up. If you keep doing this, they eventually don't have any more energy to put out new shoots.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By lindajean (Guest Post)
November 22, 20040 found this helpful

I too am disabled, on a fixed income. I used full strength ROUNDUP (buy the kind that you dilute....only DON'T!) I cut the tips off several of the lower branches and placed a plastic baggie, half full of FULL STRENGTH, UNDILUTED ROUDNUP over the cut end, securing with a rubberband. This was during the summer so the heat encouraged the plant to drink up! Naturally, the more baggies, the dryer the weather, more sun and heat the faster the plant dies.


Pulling the root ball was no problem.

The other solution would be to take the waterhose, use one of those brass nozzles that intensifies the stream to 1/4 ". Start blasting at the base of the plant, using leather gloves you can start gently tugging. Blast the mud away from the roots (use pruning shears to cut the root system if you must). I got an entire shrub out this way---fun in the mud, too.

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By Barbie (Guest Post)
November 22, 20040 found this helpful

You can rid yourself of just about any unwanted plant....cheaply and easily with........Vinegar...........just spray the plant and the roots and surrounding will also prevent grass and other things from from growing until after a good rain, which will dilute and wash it great on pickers and grass which grow in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways may have to repeat it a few times to get any missed plants but vinegar is definitely cheap enough so you won't be wasting too much $$ plus it's safer for animals than things like round-up and other chemicals.......

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November 22, 20040 found this helpful

You can buy a few boxes of rock salt and dissolve them in hot water. Then pour them on the roots of the bushes that you do not want. I inadvertently did this by emptying my ice cream maker salt out on the lawn and it killed weeds, grass and the parts of the salmonberry bushes it came into contact with.


It is inexpensive and worth a try.

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By glomax56 (Guest Post)
November 23, 20040 found this helpful

I would love to have some of your blackberry plants, do you want to sell any of them? I live in a rental house in the country and want to produce fruit for canning. My husband loves blackberries!

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November 28, 20040 found this helpful

Hi Anna,

You should find this site most helpful.

Good luck,

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December 2, 20040 found this helpful

In Australia blackberries are not the lovely fruit for eating or jam/wine making they were when I lived in cool climate England. Because of the climate here they are a noxious weed and take over farmland as Susan said. There are major government initiatives to eradicate them.

Here's a link with some information about the best time to spray them.

If you do a Google search on 'blackberry eradication australia' there are many sites with information on the chemicals to use. Just cutting them down will not work.

After removing the bushes it is most important to plant some other quick growing plants to cover the bare ground as that will help to smother any runners from any surviving roots left in the ground.

I would also check with your local government agricultural department. As this is such a widespread problem in your area you may be entitled to some assistance to remove the plants.



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By Leeza (Guest Post)
August 18, 20060 found this helpful

I actually hate blackberry vines as well - oregon Native and can't get rid of them. I guess the person that wrote about vinegar is probably right,(I know Vinegar kills Ivy....another bothersome vine, but NO THORNS) but a friend said that you can "Rent goats" to eat all the blackberries, weeds, etc....I looked on line but didn't find the right company to do it, but I will have to ask the person that suggested it who/where they found this service.
I know that Oregon Highway dept used goats to clear Blackberry vines near State roads and was on the news....I don't know any specific places to hire goats, but I think they were a couple of dollars a day and ate EVERYTHING !
Good Luck ! I have leftover blackberry thorns stuck in my arms and legs that somehow PROVE my HATE for the vines......I will get them out regardless of how much it hurts......Leeza

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August 18, 20060 found this helpful

Last year we had a bunch in the back yard growing all over one corner of the backyard. They probably took up 15 feet or so in depth in a section 30-40 feet long, they went over the fence and then another 10-15 feet or so in the neighbors yard. I cut the canes out one by one with some loppers and cut them into 2 or 3 foot sections on a tarp. I just kept piling them up. It took us months to get rid of all the old canes but everytime I see some new sprouts, I chop them off. You just need to be very, very persistent. In the Pacific Northwest, the Himalayan Blackberries can cover acres, the torns are horrible and they grow about an inch or more a day. They taste good but while you are waiting for the berries to ripen they can take over your yard. They also send runners through the ground. It's taken me months of cutting, sending the waste to the yard waste folks but you can now see the laurel, mock orange and vine maple that were covered by them.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By Bella Parola (Guest Post)
May 11, 20080 found this helpful

Anyone who suggests blessing the nature that has cursed me as well with a backyard that sprouts the noxious little thorny shoots everywhere you look, ten minutes after you pulled one right next to it, has no idea what a blackberry infestation is like. And to add insult to injury, the berries aren't even good, so the bountiful harvest ends up in bird poop on the deck! I don't think I'll try the rock salt method or the fullstrength Roundup method, so I guess I'll just keep lopping and hope one day the roots that appear to inhabit every square inch of my yard. But thanks anyway!

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By N. Santos (Guest Post)
June 8, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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May 4, 20161 found this helpful

If you know, or if you have a friend that knows someone that is a lineman for a power company. They have a weed and small trees killer that kills about anything they spray it on. Right at the time the fall of the year starts to come in, take an oil base spray paint and spray some paint everywhere you see where they are coming out of the grown. Wait until the follow spring when things start to turn green, and spray the shit out of the area that you marked with the paint. That weed killer the lineman use will kill those blackberry briars. about a month after you have sprayed them, have some to lightly till that area and burn it around the end of February 1st of March. You will never see them again. Have another light tilling done again in the spring and plant the area with grass seed. That was the only way I got rid of those sumbitches. They are hard to kill, but that stuff the power company uses will kill them, and everything else that was growing where you sprayed.

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June 19, 20160 found this helpful

Cut them and pour salt on them. Make sure you never want to grow in that area again though.

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July 9, 20160 found this helpful

I have a friend in the U.S who says something called Cross Bow works really well and is easy to use

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Read More Answers

April 28, 2013

Who sells vinegar/salt killer?

By Elaine


May 3, 20135 found this helpful

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!

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For 10 years, I have been fighting off wild blackberry vines in my front yard. I've dug them up, going 8 inches down on the roots and I've salted the soil. I've tried gallons and gallons of vinegar. I have cut the vines down weekly, but they spring up faster than I can cut. They have horrible thorns and choke out anything we try to plant there. They have only flowered once, otherwise I wouldn't know what they were. I need to get rid of these! Suggestions?

By Natalie

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April 6, 2013

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


April 8, 20132 found this helpful

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!

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August 22, 20160 found this helpful

Goats love blackberry bushes.

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Answer this Question...

April 25, 2015

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?


April 28, 20150 found this helpful

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!

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February 1, 2012

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


February 6, 20120 found this helpful

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!

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Photo Description
My husband found this blackberry root, growing a new plant, up through a chunk of bark. The Himalayan blackberries are extremely invasive here and can literally grow anywhere! I won't lie though, I really enjoy picking berries in our backyard.

Photo Location
Port Orchard, WA

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December 4, 2016

In some parts of the country wild blackberries can be very invasive, and difficult to get rid of without chemicals. This is a page about removing blackberries without herbicides.

get the roots

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April 4, 2017

The key to chemical-free success in destroying blackberries will come with persistence. Without leaves to produce food for the roots, they will eventually starve and die. This is a page about how do you get rid of blackberry vines naturally?

Blackberry vines in a chainlink fence.

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December 3, 2016

This is a page about making homemade blackberry pulling gloves. Removing blackberry plants manually can leave you with lots of thorns in your hands unless you protect them well.

Homemade Blackberry Pulling Gloves

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 12, 2011

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 Cricket 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 Judi

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

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May 29, 2009
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. 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

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