Macquarie Valley Weeds Committee & Lachlan Valley Weeds Advisory Committee



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Botanical Name: Rubus fruticosus
Other Common Names:


Class Regions
Class 4All Of N.S.W.
Landholder Responsibilities: Growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority and the plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed
Why Is It Bad?: Blackberries increasingly and seriously affect agriculture, horticulture, recreation and tourism. Pasture production is reduced leading to reduced carrying capacity. Control costs in the future will increase dramatically. Feral animal populations increase in proportion to increases in available food and shelter. Bushfires could potentially be more intense as fuel loads are increased by the spread of infestations. The value of native environmental sites would decrease as Blackberry infestations lower biodiversity levels.


Habit: Shrub
Leaves: Leaves are alternate with 3-5 ovate leaflets with serrated margins. Upper surfaces are dark green while undersides are lighter.
Flowers: Flowers are white or pink, 5 petals and 2-3cm in diameter. Flowering occurs in late spring-summer.
Fruit: Fruit is an aggregate of small duplets, 1-3cm in diameter. They are green and mature to black over summer-autumn. They are edible and each duplet contains one seed.
Roots: Roots have a thickened woody crown with lateral growth to 50cm depth.

Control Methods

Manual Removal: Physical removal can easily be carried out for smaller plants and seedlings
Chemical Use: Generally, foliar spray with herbicide is used to control blackberries, as it is the most practical and effective method of control. Often chemical application can be used after the physical removal of large clumps of blackberries to reduce the bulk of the plant. Herbicide can also be used for cut-paint and drill-fill applications on the crown if fresh growth stems are removed
Fire: The effect of herbicides is enhanced if the dead bushes are burnt several months after treatment. This opens up the area to grazing and competition from other pasture species
Slashing & Cutting:
Biological Control: Biological control agents have been tried but with little success, however leaf rust can be used on some taxa in warmer, moist sites
Grazing: Grazing practices using goats have proved an effective control method as they readily eat the plants and can destroy large bushes by their continuous grazing pressure
Cultivation & Scalping:
Monitoring: Successful treatment programs rely on ongoing monitoring of sites. Regrowth and new seedlings can easily become larger infestations if follow-up treatments are not part of the management program


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Image Credit: Megan Power

Image Credit: Megan Power

Image Credit: Megan Power

Image Credit: Megan Power

Image Credit: Megan Power

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