‘Tis season for blackberry control

Agriculture Victoria is encouraging landowners to take the opportunity over Christmas and the summer season to control any blackberry on their property.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officer Josh Howard said control should be occurring annually, however now is the perfect time as blackberry has been dormant over winter.

“Control with a herbicide is best done during the warmer months, so anytime from September until April, depending on the weather.

“Blackberry can spread by seed dispersal, which can be transported a long way by animals.

“It can also vegetatively reproduce from stems (canes) or roots.

Mr Howard said blackberry can look similar to the native Rubus species, however native species have red or orange fruit when ripe, rather than the black coloured fruit of blackberry.

He said that although blackberry is considered an established weed it is expected that landowners control it on their property.

“Every control effort helps stop the spread of blackberry throughout Victoria.

“Blackberry can be controlled by herbicide application, physical removal, or mulching, with the best results achieved through a community-based approach where landowners work together to control infestations.

Mr Howard said blackberry can also harbour pest animals such as rabbits and foxes, decrease productivity of primary production, restrict access to waterways and walking tracks, outcompete native plants and can be a fire hazard when stems die off.

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