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  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    Default Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    HELP!

    I have a 3 acre mess at my mother's place to fix. She thought a black berry bush would be neat in the backyard/pasture at her homestead but, it has completely taken over. She is getting older and let it go so, now that one bush has grown into a thicket and it is covered in a thorny vine. The whole mess is 10 to 12 feet high and too thick to walk through. The foxes, cats, and I'm sure a few snakes are doing their best to keep the pack rats and mice under control but it's a loosing battle.

    My first thought was to 'rent' one of those Dutch anti-mine clearing vehicles with the big chain flail but, that isn't going to happen.

    I have tried to "push" this stuff with a 45HP tractor and loader but, it is too dense. I am considering possibly buying a commercial quality tiller or rotary mower that could chop this stuff up so I could disc it into the soil for decomposition. I can't burn it in place or feasibly haul it off for responsible disposal so, chopping it up and tilling it back into the ground seems to be the best option.

    Are either the tiller or "bush hog" reasonable options for backing into this mess? Or, is there a better tool or implement I should consider? Would a bush hog discharge the material if I backed into it or would I need to 'see-saw' to clear it as I go? The tiller seems like it may be a better option since the commercial models rotate either direction but, again I'm unsure of the discharge issue.

    Clearing it by hand and putting it into a shredder is just too time consuming so, that isn't an option either.

    TIA,
    Sid

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Egbert's Avatar
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    Northeast, OK
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    Kioti DK50SE HST Cub Cadet UTV

    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    Mowing blackberry will only hide the problem - not fix it. You need to eradicate the plant with herbicide. I use Remedy Ultra.

    To be most effective, you should spray while the plants are producing berries. Do not cut for at least 6 weeks following application, to give the herbicide time to get into the root system. Plan to spend at least 3 years.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2005
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    369
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    TN
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    LS U3050C

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    I have cleared quite a bit of it by backing into it with my bush hog. Gone back over it twice a year now that it a field and haven't seen it come back.
    LS U5030C, International McCormick B-414 Gas

  4. #4
    Member
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    AZ, TX and, OK

    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egbert View Post
    Mowing blackberry will only hide the problem - not fix it. You need to eradicate the plant with herbicide. I use Remedy Ultra.
    I do plan on a more permanent solution but, right now I really need to knock a lot of it down. After I knock it down, my plan is to keep rototilling or discing until spring when it really starts to grow again. Then I'm either going to fence it and put a lot of goats on it or, I'm doing go back with a total kill herbacide.

    I'm also a little concerned by the risk of a fire since there is so much dry matter in this thicket with dead vines. A lightning strike or 4th of July accident by the neighbors would take out both barns, the corrals, and loafing shed and put the house at significant risk too.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozley View Post
    I have cleared quite a bit of it by backing into it with my bush hog. Gone back over it twice a year now that it a field and haven't seen it come back.
    Thank you for confirming the 'bush hog' option. That would go a long way to getting on top of this problem.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    May 2013
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    Knox, In,
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    Ford 3400, Gizmow ZTR, Simplicity 7116H

    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    Suprised pushing with a loader didnt work.. I just did some int he woods that way.. About 20' thick and taller than me.
    Vets helping Vets: Veterans Benefit Network - http://vets.yuku.com/

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Arkansas
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    Belarus 825, for now.

    Default

    I had some cab high, just lowered the loader to a few feet off the ground and drove off in it with the bush hog. Tractor road it down, and mower did its job. No problem, unless you are afraid to scratch a tractor. Sometimes old equipment has its advantage I guess.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member GYPSY's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    ^ Mason Dixon
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    JOHN DEERE

    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    pallet forks and start ripping, lift high enough to get a chain saw in and start hacking away. ive done this alot because not knowing what im driving into/over with cutter. but rotary cutter and older tractor(not worried bout scratching it up) and cut away. there used to be a loader attachment called a brushbrute or something like that, it was like a stone fork but made for clearing fields/pastures. i looked into them a long time ago and boy were they expensive, but they apparently were very good for such jobs. like i said, brushbrute???? or something like that.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Dec 2007
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    texas
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    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    your going to have todo 2 things to get rid of the blackberry thicket.1 is shredd them down.2 spray them with herb to kill them off.i hate using herb on anything because it builds up in the soil.but with that mess shredding an herb is the only way.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Egbert's Avatar
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    Northeast, OK
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    Kioti DK50SE HST Cub Cadet UTV

    Default Re: Help! How to clear a black berry thicket covered in thorny vines?

    If you mow first, you need to let them grow for several months before you spray - at least for effectiveness.

    I've dealt with 4 or 5 big thickets of blackberry on property that saw no maintenance for about 15 years. After 3 seasons of spraying when the berries matured, the infestation has been greatly reduced. It is now much easier to get out the UTV and soak what remains with a spot sprayer.

    In dealing with blackberry and thistle, I can tell you ... there is no substitute for perseverance.

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