Blackberry vine removal


Climbing Up
Aug 25, 2005
Ceres, CA
I was asked to bid on a job removing berryvines from an apartment complex in Jackson, CA. They are on a pretty steep sidehill with a little boggy kind of creek at the bottom and good equipment access on the other side. I have been trying to think of some way to use the equipment but the hill is too steep. Does anyone have any experience in these buggars? First pic is a close up of the vines, they are between 2 and 3 feet high. 2nd is from across the little creek, 3rd from a distance trying to show the steepness of the ground.


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The only easy method is chemical, and you'll likely run into all sorts of legal/ environmental ramifications if you just spray the bank with Roundup. Physical removal of the vines will be brutal as well as ineffective.

Unless you can just spray the crap out of them legally, I'd just triple or quadruple my estimated bid and hope I didn't get it.
With Himalayan Blackberry here the usual method is to cut as much down in spring, let it grow back to a foot or so tall, spray roundup with a hint of diesel or used motor oil as a spreader sticker. Repeat until it doesnt grow anymore.
boom mower
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will Goats eat it?.........they could descimate it at first then spray less later.
Roundup is perfectly harmless to animal or aquatic life, so I should'nt worry about spraying.
Yes, I agree completely. But Steve is in the People's Rebublik of Kalifornia with all sorts of nonsensical environmental laws and regulations. I'd guess that the little dried up creek/ ditch there will be the source of all sorts of environmental red tape on this job. In most other states you'd just do the work and be done, but not in Kalifornia.
It would take one tough old goat to eat blackberries . I think the only think alive that could eat them all gone would be a Tibetan yak or a giraffe .Now just where to locate these things would present a challange .

Blackberries and Raspberries only produce fruit from a green stem .Those tough old canes are just a deterent to invasion .A weed wacker with a clearing blade works pretty good but those things are as tough as English ivy . If you keep mowing them down ,in time they disappear but it takes almost forever using that method . Round up brush killer might work but then you get into environmental issues especially in the nanny state of California .
Steve, is the job to eliminate them or just cut them down? Perhaps I'm confused, I was trying to figure out how to eliminate them permanently.
goats are an excellent idea and they WILL eat blackberries. we used to put a collar on them with a chain and drive a stake in the ground to keep them in one area. and you can have a bbq when th jobs done8) this would be considered a commercial application for roundup. steve would need a liscence and possibly something other than round up near a "waterway"
the only prob with goats is as soon as the blackberry is gone the move on to the other stuff. There is a rental goat place here. They come and fence the area and turn em' loose.......heck they will EAT ANYTHING, including Poison Ivy
for steves small area he could buy 1-2 meat goats and stake them, control what they can reach. although there may be some idiots around to mess with the goats. a friend of mine had a goat business in sacramento area before she was married. shed post signs to leave the dogs and goats alone, they were well fed and being monitored and shed still get people taking dogs home:roll:
I don't think Round-Up is as Monsanto portrayed it. It doesn't break down in sunlight like they said and it ends up in ground water.

I also think it has some health issues. Somebody ambitious enough to research?
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Steve, is the job to eliminate them or just cut them down? Perhaps I'm confused, I was trying to figure out how to eliminate them permanently.

I would imagine their goal is to eliminate them permantely, but the job I'm biding on is to cut and remove them. Once they are gone their regular maintenance guys can spray the regrowth.
to cut and remove I would say a strong weed wacker with a blade on it or a set of articulating hedge shears, whack it down, get some blokes to drag it to the trailer and take it away. Can you run that viney stuff through a chipper?
will Goats eat it?.........they could descimate it at first then spray less later.

Goats won't eat mature stands of brush or blackberry vines. They will eat however re-growth. Also on a hill side, goats will promote erosion. You also have to have a real good hot wire fence so they don't go for greener pastures. Remember goats are not stupid. If they can go for the neighbor's nice expensive tasty landscaping, believe me they will in a heartbeat.

Steve, that is a puny little patch of blackberry vines. Man up and go in there with a Stihl fs250 or fs550 first with a whip head, cut all the little fluffy parts off and expose the canes.
Then come in with the blade attachment and mulch down the rest. Cut it fine enough to lay nice and flat. Make sure you use chaps that cover, well, the parts of you that you consider important. Those brush cutters throw chunks perfectly.

The resulting mulch will help to hold the hill. Come back when the vines have re-sprouted to about a foot in height (no more), and spray with round up if you must.
If they don't like Round-up, then tell them to tarp it. Still won't work, but they may feel good doing it.
Better to just come back year after year and re-mulch the area. Its a good way to keep your help busy in slack times.

Here is a picture of the brush blade which I use, it does a great job. Not only in mulch berry vines, but also in throwing chunks into my 'private' parts, windows, cars, cutting irrigation pipes, etc. etc.


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That's a snap Steve.

We used to remove acres of that stuff.

Using a brushcutter blade like Frans posted kinda flings crap everywhere.

Get one guy with a hedgetrimmer cutting it at the base and two other
guys with potato forks rolling the berries downhill rolling it up into a
big tight crepe type thing. Two guys rolling the berry log downhill
as the third guy cuts the bottom of the berries. Tighter and tighter.

After all you end up with a big giant roll of blackberry vine at the bottom.
Then section it with hedgetrimmer and load it up, Laters................