We fought the blackberries and won, for now...

peachymomo(Ca 8)May 13, 2011

My bf and I attacked the blackberries that were taking over the back of our yard and I just had to show the difference after we finished. It took two truck loads to haul all of the stuff away when we were done, they had encroached more than 10' on both the north and south corners of the lot.

Before:

After:

Not only were the blackberries cut back but the weeds got whacked and the warm, dry weather is starting to change the color from green to gold.

The blackberries were coming through the 6' chain link fence at the back at all heights, is there anything we can do to slow them down? My bf is going to get some blackberry and brush killer and apply it to the cut ends that are coming through the fence, but is there anything else? When I was back there fighting I had visions of those 12' concrete walls that I see next to freeways ;oP

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Repeated, regularly scheduled treatments of total vegetation killer, but be really careful with that stuff.

A 12' concrete wall would certainly do the job.

Your oaks are magnificent!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 4:00PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Wow you did a great job. There is a certain satisfaction with actually ripping them out. I am too old and lack a suit of leather clothing, so I spray them and it takes a long time before they really disappear. Painting the ends as they are cut at ground level will slow them down, not eliminate them. Will your neighbor let you spray through the chain link? To be effective the spray needs to coat the foliage, and best when it is growing with vigor. Al

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 6:07PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Keep a vigilant eye out for seedlings that will sprout years afterwards. Congratulations! You're really brave, we hired workers to yank ours out, LOL.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 6:20PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Good job! Your arms must be hamburger. You can try a trench. Works for bamboo.
Renee

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:10AM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

When you use your brush killer, mix in some sticker (liquid soap will do) like Al says, to coat it so that it takes effect. And keep at it until it is all gone! I am doing the same with English Ivy from next door. So, I admire your progress!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:27PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Thanks everyone! It sure feels good looking out at the backyard and admiring our hard work. We had a funny moment the other day when our dog (just 2 yrs old) noticed the more-visible rabbit hutch and thought it was a scary monster, fortunately it didn't take too long for us to convince her it was no threat.

I love those oak trees, I can't wait until the day my bf is ready to tear down that ugly shed so I can have a better view of them!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Dan Staley

Yes, you definitely are not done. Get the sprouts early. And often. And diligently.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:16PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Ummm. It's illegal to kill a plant on another person's property.
Applying herbicide -- weed killer -- to the tips coming through the fence qualifies.

Instead, keep nipping as they come through.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:19AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Wow, you did a nice job! Your arms and backs must be sore. My first thought is you now have an empty pallet to paint with plants, but the berries will fight for the territory.

We grew some berries a few years ago along the back fence. After a year or two, when they came up in the middle of the path 3 feet from the fence, we yanked them out. I expected to see new shoots emerge later, but we haven't. We didn't spray them and I'm amazed they haven't come back.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Dick_Sonia(Sunset 17)

"Ummm. It's illegal to kill a plant on another person's property. Applying herbicide -- weed killer -- to the tips coming through the fence qualifies."

Not necessarily. Homeowners have discretionary authority to summarily kill plants listed on the State's noxious weed list. This includes systemic poisoning of the foliage of plants whose roots are located on an adjoining property. In such cases, the State's compelling interest in suppressing noxious weeds supercedes the notional interests of private property owners. It is quite likely that the opposite is true in most city codes: it is unlawful to maintain a noxious weed on your property that encroaches on the property of another.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 3:05AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

*Whew* That's good news! Because 'nipping them as they come through' would be a constant chore, that back fence is 110' long.

I haven't spoken with the neighbors yet but I think they will be open to the idea of spraying over the fence because it appears that the blackberries have overgrown their old car/junk pile area, it didn't look they like were being treated as anything other than a weed.

I've been walking the rest of the property and have pulled out plenty of seedlings, they like to take root in hard to see or get to places - like underneath an old rambling rose. I'm very glad I invested in a nice pair of gauntlet gloves :o)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:24PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I want to come over and help boyfriend tear down shed so I can see both oak trees. Tell him he has an audience.
Renee

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 1:03AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Thank you Renee! I hate that shed and have wanted it gone from day one. Not only does it look bad and block the view of our trees, the floor is half rotted out and the whole thing reeks of gasoline. But my boyfriend is strangely reluctant to tear the thing down... He even built a new shed to replace it, but it got totally filled without the old shed even being emptied of one thing - I just don't get it.

One day my dream of tearing the shed down will come true, and I will post joyous victory pictures of my un-obstructed view : )

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:26AM
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