Help!Blackberries everywhere...

bamakrautie(z8AL)December 30, 2005

I am new to gardening and try not to use too many chemicals in my yard. we moved to a new house and the flower beds around the house are populated by blackberries and some little trees i want to get rid off. I also have some nice huge camellias, gardenias and rhododendron bushes in these beds which I don't want to damage. Is it safe and productive to use Round up to get rid off the blackberries? I never used Round up and I wonder if it would slow down the growth of any new plants and flowers I want to plant in these beds. Or is the only right way to get on my hands and knees and pull them out? What about the little trees that i can't identify, is it enough just to cut them off or does my husband have to pull them out with the roots? Wouldn't that damage the root system of the bushes I want to keep?

I am thankful for any suggestions what to do. Have a happy new year and excuse my broken english, I am german...


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You can control blackberries in many ways, including by hand. If you do choose to use Roundup, you must not apply the spray to any plants you wish to keep. Any Roundup that hits green plant tissue will be absorbed. However, use of Roundup near desirable plants will not slow down their growth, unless you misapply. It is not soil active, unlike some herbicides.

Small trees can often be pulled up without much disturbance to your landscape plants.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 3:08AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Personally, I would pull out anything that I did not want by hand. Then, as new growth emerges from unwanted vines, etc, I would PAINT a solution of RoundUp on the newest foliage. This can be done with a brush or sponge, etc. Just don't get the RoundUp on your skin.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 10:59AM
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Thank you so much for your advice! Since we have so nice weather here the last two days I already did a lot of pulling out and it's nice to see the progress. i just hope there won't come to much back in spring

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 12:29PM
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My personal experience with briars/blackberries is that pulling by hand is a waste of time and effort. They always come back and the roots run really deep. I have only had success using Roundup on them and then I had to apply it more than once. Usually 2, sometimes 3 applications are needed. I usually wait 2 weeks in between applications to see if I really need to do it again. Also, I think Roundup works best when daytime temps. are around 80 degrees. I think it says that on the bottle, but I'm not sure.

Good luck. No matter what you do, you will always have to fight blackberries because birds drop new seeds every year. So, if you get rid of the ones you have now, next year you will probably discover new ones somewhere else around your house.

I like the new sprayer thing (you pump the bottle) that has a very narrow stream as opposed to the wider spray. But I still hand paint some of the leaves of the plants growing around my other plants I don't want to kill.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 5:00PM
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Success with Roundup is not closely dependent on temperature, although it does greatly affect the speed at which it works. Its success on perennials is more dependent on the time of the year it is applied. Plants such as blackberry are most affected by Roundup when it is applied in the fall of the year. When sprayed during this time window, it often only needs to be applied once. There are other herbicides that are more commonly timed for use during spring and summer months, such as triclopyr based products.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 10:40PM
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Blackberry seeds are viable for approximately 30 years. If you pull or dig them out and 1 small piece of root is left in the ground it will resprout. dig, cut, and spray for a couple years and you'll slow them down alot.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:06PM
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If you cant remove the whole plant, it is still worthwhile just cutting the flowers off, to stop it seeding, and spreading.

I have a big blackberry problem at my place, right now. I am in Australia, just north of Sydney. Today I was removing blackberry, mostly just pulling it out, but I know this isnt effective as if a little bit of root is left in the soil, it will keep growing.

I need to poison it, but I have found that roundup is not terrible effective on blackberry. I think I will have to find something else to use. I hate chemicals, but I hate the blackberry as well.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 3:01AM
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Roundup can work well, but only if used when the plant is in the autumn stage and pulling sugars into its root zone. More commonly used are forms of triclopyr, which can be used whenever the plant is green and growing.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 8:39PM
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So is spraying with roundup, better than cutting and painting ?

Solution rates please.

It is summer here, and I have been cutting and painting for days, I am going to monitor it and see how effective it is. It is on the council weed list and I have to remove it from my property else I could be fined.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 6:44PM
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Generally blackberries, and other brambles, seem to like the same soil conditions that Camelia and Rhododendrons do so unless you eliminate all the roots from them you will see them forever. The single best method of control is to keep the green above the ground part of the plant cut off so the roots do not get any nutrients and eventually starve and they die.
We should not be poisoning our planet with weed killers.

Compiled by Caroline Cox, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to
Pesticides- (NCAP)

Roundup, and related herbicides with glyphosate as an active ingredient,
are advertised as products that can "eradicate weeds and unwanted
grasses effectively with a high level of environmental safety." However,
an independent, accurate evaluation of their health and environmental
hazards can draw conclusions very different from those presented in the
ads. Consider these facts:

1. Glyphosate can be persistent. In tests conducted by Monsanto,
manufacturer of glyphosate-containing herbicides, up to 140 days were
required for half of the applied glyphosate to break down or disappear
from agricultural soils. At harvest, residues of glyphosate were found
in lettuce, carrots, and barley planted one year after glyphosate

2. Glyphosate can drift. Test conducted by the University of California,
Davis, found that glyphosate drifted up to 400 meters (1300 feet) during
ground applications and 800 meters 12600 feet) during aerial applications.

3. Glyphosate is acutely toxic to humans. Ingesting about 3/4 of a cup
can be lethal. Symptoms include eye and skin irritation, lung
congestion, and erosion of the intestinal tract. Between 1984 and 1990
in California, glyphosate was the third most frequently reported cause
of illness related to agricultural pesticide use.

4. Glyphosate has shown a wide spectrum of chronic toxicity in
laboratory tests. The National Toxicology Program found that chronic
feeding of glyphosate caused salivary gland lesions, reduced sperm
counts, and a lengthened estrous cycle (how often an individual comes
into heat). Other chronic effects found in laboratory tests include an
increase in the frequency of lethal mutations in fruit flies, an
increase in frequency of pancreas and liver tumors in male rats along
with an increase in the frequency of thyroid tumors in females, and
cataracts. (ne fruit fly study used Roundup; the other studies used

5. Roundup contains toxic trade secret ingredients. These include
polyethoxylated tallowamines, causing nausea and diarrhea, and
isopropylamine, causing chemical pneumonia, laryngitis, headache, and bums.

6. Roundup kills beneficial insects. Tests conducted by The
International Organization for Biological Control showed that Roundup
caused mortality of live beneficial species: a Thrichgramma, a predatory
mite, a lacewing, a ladybug, and a predatory beetle.

7. Glyphosate is hazardous to earthworms, Tests using New Zealand's most
common earthworm showed that glyphosate, in amounts as low as 1/20 of
standard application rates, reduced its growth and slowed its development.

8. Roundup inhibits mycorrhizal fungi. Canadian studies have shown that
as little as 1 part per million of Roundup can reduce the growth or
colonization of mycorrhizal fungi.

9. Glyphosate reduces nitrogen fixation. Amounts as small as 2 parts per
million have had significant effects, and effects have been measured up
to 120 days after treatment. Nitrogen- fixing bacteria shown to be
impacted by glyphosate include a species found on soybeans and several
species found on clover.

  1. Roundup can increase the spread or severity of plant diseases.
    Treatment with roundup increased the severity of Rhizoctonia root rot in
    barley, increased the amount and growth of take-all fungus, a wheat
    disease), and reduced the ability of bean plants to defend themselves
    against anthracnose.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 8:08AM
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Using Roundup certainly cannot be construed as "poisoning the planet". This particular herbicide will completely biodegrade over time unlike some other pesticides. There is a great deal of misinformation being spread over the internet, the Cox list above, from a non-peer reviewed and deliberately misleading piece, being one of the most frequently repeated. It has been thoroughly countered and debunked repeatedly, and numerous Gardenweb threads have detailed this over the years.

This link is to an article that details the issues and shows how misleading the statements are:
The consulting toxicologist states: "The ideas that Cox attempts to promote with these statements are contrary to the conclusions of national and international regulatory bodies and their advisors, as well as the extensive scientific literature on glyphosate."

Ive investigated herbicides of all kinds, including Roundup, for several decades. One thing that becomes clear is that herbicides vary greatly in their toxicity, and their potential to cause problems. Roundup is on the low end of the toxicity and environmental effects scale. That is why it is one of the primary products that environmental organizations such as the Nature Conservancy use in their reserves to control invasive plants. If you use it as directed on the label, apply it only to the weeds you want to control, and do not apply it into water, it should not create a problem. In fact it is one of the few herbicides that have been approved for use in sensitive salmon riparian habitats here in the Northwest. It will biodegrade completely over time, and does tend to stay put where it is applied. There are some authoritative summaries of the properties of Roundup, and interested readers can get the real facts from them.

"Ecological Risk Assessment for Roundup Herbicide" (Giesy, et al., 2000):
 "Field studies indicate that glyphosate typically dissipates rapidly from both simple ecosystems, such as agricultural, and more complex ecosystems, such as forestry."
 "Glyphosate does not bioconcentrate in fish or other animals."
 " minimal riskÂwould be expected for sediment dwelling organisms."
 "ÂRoundup poses minimal risk to aquatic organisms."
 "Âthe literature supports the conclusion that non-target arthropods (insects, spiders, mites) are at minimal risk from glyphosate and its formulations."
 "Several comprehensive field studies have observed birds in forest plots treated with Roundup In no case was there evidence of direct toxicity of Roundup or glyphosate to
 "It has been concluded that there is minimal risk to small mammals from the application of glyphosate products."

"Safety Evaluation and Risk Assessment of the Herbicide Roundup and Its Active Ingredient, Glyphosate, for Humans" (Williams et al., 2000):
 "Roundup is placed in U.S. EPAÂs least toxic category (IV) for acute oral, dermal and inhalation toxicity. Thus, the Roundup formulation is considered to be practically
nontoxic by all these routes of exposure."
 "Results from several studies have established that glyphosate is not a reproductive or developmental toxicant."
 "There is no evidence thatÂRoundup adversely impacts reproductive function."

* Review by John P. Giesy, Stuart Dobson and Keith R. Solomon, published in Reviews of
Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, (2000) Vol. 167, pp. 35-120. The publication was based on their review of more than 250 documents.
Review by Gary M. Williams, Robert Kroes and Ian C. Munro, published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, (2000) Vol. 31, pp. 117-165. The publication was based on their
review of nearly 200 documents.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 1:18AM
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NOTE: Roundup and Rodeo--both are same--made by Monsanto-Rodeo is for aquatic weed control--therefore Roundup is not harmful around or in water====it does take stronger rate for blackberries

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 1:19AM
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To be clear, Roundup and Rodeo have the same active ingredient, namely glyphosate. Glyphosate is in various products that are approved for use in both terrestrial and aquatic sites. The Roundup product contains additional materials, most notably a surfactant. This detergent-like surfactant helps the glyphosate penetrate weed leaves, however like any detergent or soap it is toxic to aquatic organisms in large enough quantities. Rodeo contains no surfactants and is approved for direct application to water. Roundup is not approved for direct application to these aquatic sites. Labels for all of these products will make it very clear what kinds of sites are legal for their use.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 3:44AM
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there is not enough surfactant in round-up to harm aquatic life---jayk stated round-up could not be used near water--WRONG--also anything is toxic in large enough quantities---even water!--a person just died from water toxicity in a contest of who could drink the most(on national news) i guess if you poured round-up in a gold fish bowl that would be toxic---but round-up is used to treat weeds around the edges of lakes and ponds, all the time--by the experts

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 7:18PM
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The labeling, at least on the containers I have read, says "Do Not Use" this product where it can get into water, ponds, lakes, streams.
All of those people that JAYK uses to support those statements are either employed by are funded by the company that manufactures, and sells, the product. They are therefore suspect in their findings.
The EPA's ground water research scientists have found more to support the NCAP position than to support even the regulatory side of EPA's people, most of whom once worked for the company they regulate.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 8:26AM
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"there is not enough surfactant in round-up to harm aquatic life---"

Actually, there is enough surfactant in Roundup to harm aquatic life, if the product is applied directly to water in large enough quantities. That is why it is illegal to use it in that way. Also, I did not state that Roundup could not be used *near* water; it is used all of the time in this way without harming aquatic ecosystems, something I have repeatedly pointed on this and other forums.

As to the question of sound sources for information, there is a huge amount of misinformation that is spread on the internet about many subjects, Roundup being one of them. It takes a good deal of time to consult that actual studies to understand what is the actual truth. As for the EPAs "groundwater research scientists", I have no idea what is being referred to specifically, nor do their findings support the incorrect assertions of anti-pesticide groups such as NCAP. Perhaps this statement from the Groundwater and Drinking Water section of the EPA website is useful: "Glyphosate is strongly adsorbed to soil, with little potential for leaching to ground water. Microbes in the soil readily and completely degrade it even under low temperature conditions."

Where Roundup has the chance to move off site is when it is applied incorrectly, where it is sprayed on impervious surfaces, or where actively eroding soil can carry the material it has adhered to away. These situations should be avoided by any responsible applicator.

Roundup product labels state "do not apply directly to water", using near water is completely legal. The properties of the product make this possible, however other herbicides are different, and may be completely unsuitable for such use. A study that examined various herbicides applied over the long term and their presence in shallow groundwater highlights these variabilities between different herbicides.

Residue detections in soil and shallow groundwater after long-term herbicide applications in southern Alberta Miller, JJ; Hill, BD; Chang, C; Lindwall, CW
Canadian Journal of Soil Science [CAN. J. SOIL SCI.]. Vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 349-356. 1995.

"After herbicide applications for 1-24 yr, there were no detectable residues of glyphosate, dicamba, 2,4-D, bromoxynil or methylchlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) in soil at two long-term tillage sites and one long-term manured site. The only detectable residues in soil were of diclofop and triallate. Residues of bromoxynil, diclofop and MCPA but not dicamba, 2,4-D or triallate, were detected in the groundwater at the manured site. Diclofop was detected in 6% and bromoxynil and MCPA in 2% of 84 water samples collected at the manured site. Maximum concentrations of bromoxynil (6.5 mu g L super(-1)) and diclofop (47 mu g L super(-1)) in the groundwater at the manured site exceeded levels set by the Canadian drinking water guidelines. Long-term application of herbicides has not caused accumulation of harmful residues in southern Alberta soils, but the presence of certain herbicides in the groundwater at concentrations above the level set by the drinking water guidelines is cause for concern."

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 11:53PM
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I wonder why "old" references are used.

Experimental techniques have improved resulting in an increase in the understanding of how glyphosate behaves. The following are recent reviewed scientific papers on the subject of glyphosate leaching:

The following link leads to a 2008 scientific review on the subject. I feel that it indicates that we still have a way to go before a thorough understanding of the leaching effects of glyphosate on the environment:

I have a copy of the full review, but because of copyright, only the abstract can be presented. Please note the following from the abstract:
"Although the transport of glyphosate from land to water environments seems very limited, knowledge about subsurface leaching and surface runoff of glyphosate as well as the importance of this transport as related to ground and surface water quality is scarce."

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 3:55PM
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