The Blackberry invasion

blackberryflWe all love our blackberry jam and black berry pies however this native of Europe is deadly to our flora. In Roleystone, it can be found spreading along the Canning River valley, its tributaries, and in moister areas on slopes. Left unchecked it chokes out our native plant species by forming dense thickets, and access to the waterway becomes impossible.

Identifying features of the blackberry are of course its berries which mature during December-April and change from a red to a deep black when ripe. Stems or canes are erect or semi-erect, arched or trailing; up to 7 m long and bear numerous curved or straight prickles. Canes are biennial (living for two years) but occasionally live longer. Young canes emerge from buds on the crown each spring and grow very rapidly (5-8 cm per day).

Control of the blackberry requires commitment over several years but with persistence it can be eradicated. It is critical to eliminate small blackberry colonies and isolated plants before they spread. There are many very helpful resources on the web that provide step by step help on how to do this, such as the WA Agricutural department website weed search engine.

Be mindful however that often the large, thick blackberry infestations around Roleystone are home to many bandicoots as the thickets provides good protection from predators. So as you are planning your blackberry blitzkrieg also plan the rehabilitation of the site afterward with local native plants. The Roley Bushcare site can direct you to local, cheap sources of native plants and local experts to advise you on what is suitable.


Contractor Services

A local contractor to call for brushcutting/herbicide application is

Martins Environmental Services.
Stuart Martins
0416 159 533.

Charges are around $70/hr for brushcutting and poisoning. It takes approximately 1 hr to cut a 6ft high, 20m x 50m blackberry. (Cost and times to be confirmed with Stuart)


Bellow are some further references on Blackberries and their control

Blackberry Farmnote, Department of Agriculture:

 blackberry_farmnotefn060_2002.pdf 140.14 Kb A PDF on blackberries and their control. The Ag department also free training courses on control via herbicides.

Best Practice Guide, CRC Weed Management:

  crc_blackberry_control.pdf  bytes  A PDF on blackberries and control.


WA Agricultural Department Weed Control Information:

Weeds CRC Australia weed Identification and control:

CALM Weeds information:

Weeds Australia: