Time to evict the blackberries

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by weekender21, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I’m very pleased with the results of our early September planting (broadcast/roll/spray). This was the first time I’ve sprayed our plots. This particular plot was created in March 2019.

    The plot was sprayed with a heavy dose of glyphosate that did a great job on everything besides the blackberries. It set them back but I’m pretty sure they’re not dead.

    I’m planning on spraying them next spring and have a few questions:

    1) what herbicide (Crossbow brush killer?)

    2) spot spray or the entire plot? Blackberries are pretty thick in places.

    3) can I plant before spraying whatever your recommended herbicide is or do I have to wait weeks or months after.



    Planted and sprayed Labor Day weekend. Pictures taken October 9th.

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  2. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Well-Known Member

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    Yea they are probably not completely dead. I just read an article not long ago on wild blackberry control, that was well written and had the timing and chemical, fire and mowing info in it. We have a patch that is getting bigger by the year and I need to get them under control as they continue to expand the patch and they are good for nothing other than holding rabbits, which we dont need! If I find it again I will post the link.
     
  3. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    We have quite a few as well, mainly in the 3-5 year old logging areas. Especially the edges of the haul roads.


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  4. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Remedy Ultra will kill down to the roots.

    When they come back strong from the gly, I would kill them late spring and sew a summer crop a few days after spraying. Then rotate to a cool season plot in the fall.
     
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  5. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Those were my thoughts as well Native. Would you spot spray with Remedy Ultra or hit the entire plot?



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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  6. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I personally would spot spray, because a plot is not that big and it's pretty easy to hit everything that you see growing. If I was doing a big field I would think differently.
     
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  7. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    This plot is only about .75 acres. I’m sure I could spot spray it. Blackberries are thick but there are a few spots without any.

    Any problem with spot spraying remedy ultra then planting a few weeks later with a glyphosate application (throw/mow)?


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  8. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    When I killed blackberry with it, I was doing native grasses rather than food plots, so I wasn't planting afterwards. Hence, I really didn't check into any residual effects. However, I'm sure you could pull up the label on the Internet and find that info.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    One more thing - If you mow a food plot 3 times a year (spaced out), you won't have any trouble with blackberry. They will die back in a couple of years. But, mowing them once a year just makes them mad and more determined to live.
     
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  10. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    That’s good to know. I have one “plot” that didn’t get planted this year. My neighbor is mowing them next week. I’ll have him hit that spot a few times next summer too.


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  11. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Blackberries normally don't need special control methods because they can't tolerate the normal practices of horticulture such as mowing, spraying, and tillage activities. If blackberries are a problem in a field, it's usually a newly cleared area, and the field isn't getting very much mowing, tillage, or herbicide. With any of these activities on a continuous basis they will disappear on their own. What will you have growing in your field next spring? If clover and grain, I'd spray in the spring when the weeds are 3" high with 2,4-DB, if clover alone, I'd use Imazethapyr 2SL, this will kill not only the blackberries, but will clean up that other junk in the picture. Then mow the clover twice during the summer. Mowing several times a season kills certain weeds that aren't easily managed with herbicides, and herbicides kill certain weeds that aren't easily managed by mowing.
     
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  12. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    I’m planning to plant a summer crop this year in May. Heavy on buckwheat but might add sunflowers and wheat. In late summer I’ll plant a diverse crop of clover, brassicas and cereal grain.

    The plot has never been sprayed or tilled and only mowed once. Just getting things going. I don’t plan on tilling in the future.


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  13. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a notill planter or are you doing a throw n mow?
     
  14. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Since this subject has come up, I thought I would share something I wrote a few years ago.


    The Wild Blackberry – Nature’s Perfect Survivor

    Blackberries where you want them are one of the best plants a habitat manager could possibly have. The provide browse, cover and fruit. What more could anyone ask for?

    But blackberries where you don’t want them can be a curse, because unless you are vigilant, they will eventually overcome and defeat any measure you may take to eradicate them.

    Consider the following that I have observed concerning blackberry and why I consider it to be the ultimate survivor in the plant world.

    · Blackberry has a unique position in the plant kingdom. In ways it has special abilities to help it cope with species both above and below it on the successional ladder.

    · Even though it is a semi woody species, it can grow as quickly as grasses and broadleaf weeds, which helps it gain a quick advantage over them. Even tall warm season grasses (such as Big Bluestem and Switch Grass) which can grow taller than the blackberry have no chance against it over time. The blackberry is moderately shade tolerant and finds a way to gain a foothold between even the thickest grass stools. From there it sends out briers which are strong enough to weight down grasses and flatten them so that it can slowly spread and cut off their sunlight. The process may sometimes be slow, but it is sure.

    · While woody species like most trees can eventually shade it out, it has an ability to hold them back in different ways. A small tree seedling can easily succumb to the dense shade of a thick blackberry patch, and if that is not enough – I have seen several seedlings that became tangled to the point that they eventually died from the twisting and bending. Of course, at the same time, the dense and hungry root system of the blackberry will be cutting off the nutrients to the tree roots as an extra measure of certain death.

    · Trees sprouting from the inside of a thick blackberry patch have little chance of survival, so when trees do eventually shade out blackberry, it will be from the outside moving inward rather than from the inside moving outward. Given enough time there will eventually be enough trees to finally survive until a forest is formed and the sunlight of the blackberry is cut off. It disappears, but it is far from dead. I observed a place that had not been logged for over 50 years that didn’t have a single blackberry brier growing anywhere. However, when it was finally logged, within one year there was nothing visible except blackberry, and it was so thick by the end of one season that even a rabbit would have a hard time penetrating it.

    · Blackberry roots seem to have an uncanny ability to keep a measure of life regardless of what you do to them. You can kill blackberry with herbicides like Crossbow, Remedy Ultra, etc. and perhaps not see it for several years. You can mow it two or three times a year with spaced out mowing times and make it disappear for a while. You can even plow the ground and set it back severely to where you think it is completely gone. But mark my word – a small remnant is alive somewhere beneath the earth and given enough time it will find a way to reappear.

    · Plants like Canada Goldenrod are famous for their fibrous root systems which help them to form monocultures in spots and increase their territory. However, Canada Goldenrods are no match for the root network formed by blackberries. They have a way of cutting off life from even the toughest plants found in nature. Until a lucky tree eventually gets its head above the briers, nothing in nature has a chance of subduing the blackberry.

    · Blackberries have a way of discouraging you from messing with them. If you are working near them you will eventually taste the wrath of the sharp briers. I’ve worked in trees with a pole saw and been a good distance from any briers (I thought) but at the end of the day, my hands would look like I had been in a motorcycle wreck, and more than once I would have to stop and take a pocket knife to remove one that broke off – very painful.

    · Yet, the tasty fruit is almost irresistible. Both man and beast must eat a few, and this is yet another way that the blackberry increases its chances for survival. The seeds are quickly spread and new patches are forming while you are trying your best to eradicate the old patch. It’s a never ending battle that no man will win. Oh yea, forgot to mention that even if you could win, your birds will be happy to bring in some new seed from your neighbor’s place to get the battle heated back up!
     
  15. deer patch

    deer patch Active Member

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    I’ve had good success with just mowing once or twice a year and planting cereal grains in there place but it takes a couple of years to get them knocked back.
     
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  16. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Excellent read. In our area blackberries take over a logging clear-cut exactly like you described them, but they can't seem to compete in ag fields.
     
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  17. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Throw/mow or throw/roll/spray


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  18. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Roll n spray won't work as good with blackberries as TnM will. The blackberries can be chopped into mulch for the TnM. With a small low maintenance food plot in the mountains why aren't you thinking permanent ladino clover in at least part of it if I may ask?
     
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  19. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    I have about 2.5 acres of plots, no tractor or bush hog and live 6 hours (370 miles) away. If I was closer and could guarantee timely spraying or mowing I might put some into perennial clover.


    It’s a work in progress. Until recently I lived 4,600 miles away.

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  20. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Perennial clover is actually less work and more deer feed than about any other planting, most annual plantings are a lot of work to re-establish them every season, clover just keeps going like the energizer bunny. This stuff is basically a weed, not real fussy on lime and fertilizer, although that helps. I have clover plots like that the one below that I haven't touched in almost a year. Frost seed the clover at a 25 lb bag (this is 16 lb of seed and the rest is coating) to the acre in mid to late February, spray 6 oz per acre of imazethapyr 2sl after spring greenup but before the weeds are 3" tall, then sit back with a smug look and say "look what i've got" No further work needed for a year, although a mowing would be good on a new plot. Frost seeding at a heavy rate and a heavy dose of imazethapyr 2sl and clover is good for a year.
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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