Is there any way to keep ahead of briars. They are starting to over run my
hill side yard. I can't seem to keep up with them. I have a large yard, and
a lot of it is hill. Thanks for any advice.
Strong single growths that grow out of the ground they grow close together
and are impossible to get though, and have thorns from one end to the
others. They are hard to cut down when they start getting thick. Some thing
like Blackberry briers but thicker and worse. I hope this helps you
Dig up a root and see if it has a bulbous like rhizome that connects
to others just as ugly. That is probably pipe briar, not blackberry.
The only cure I know is dig up the roots. Blackberry can be a PITA,
but can be killed with careful applications of Roundup, I don't know
of a herbicide that kills pipe briar.
All of the briars (or 'briers', as the USDA would have it) that I am familiar
with are classified in the genus Smilax:
I'm in the southeast part of the US though, not in the PNW. Perhaps there are
other genera where you are.
I find the page referenced by the OP offensive, BTW. Besides the large amounts
of misinformation and the anthropomorphism and misdirected censure ("Until
you've had one rip your skin though, it's hard to understand and appreciate
their viciousness and disregard for life. Briars attack their prey with
vengeance..."), I am also offended by the author's apparent belief that he has
the right to destroy native life so he can more comfortably ride wheeled
vehicles through woodlands. Some similarly inclined yahoos decided they could
tear up the woodlands behind our house with their very noisy ATVs without regard
to the rights of anyone else, including native vegetation and other wildlife.
Our briars made them rethink their assumptions. In that encounter the score
stands at briars 2, yahoos 0.
I've never tried killing the briars on our property because I think they are
beautiful, they've never been a problem, and I encourage native vegetation as
much as possible, but if I had the OP's problem I think I would try painting the
unwanted plants with a mixture of a Triclopyr-containing herbicide such as
Brush-B-Gon and an adjuvant such as lamp oil. It works wonders on all sorts of
difficult plants, including even Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum).
Hi Michael & All - For briars with stickers like you describe - and if
one has the stamina - one then could use a long handled tool with narrow
sharp scythe-like steel cutter (perhaps 3" wide?) at the side of its
two-sided sharp steel tip. Using such a tool carefully one can use it
to reach to the base of the blackberry and 'pull-or-push-cut' the canes
- which can then be heaped and carried aloft without too many scratches
then - using a long handled pitchfork - taken to your composting pile -
or if practical and in a safe fire place and time, etc. - perhaps you'll
want to burn them up in a bonfire. Fortunately I think there is just
such a tool already available for your needs - if not in your local
supplier's place then perhaps you might check out the J.M. Leonard Co.
catalog (- they're a mail order garden tool company w/free-catalog).
Good luck! - Wes/MO
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