Blackberry not so sweet in the South East
24 February 2020
European blackberry is a Weed of National Significance occupying nine million hectares across the country, covering a total land mass bigger than Tasmania.
In the South East, Natural Resources Management Officers are working to control this invasive pest.
SE NRM Board NRM Officer Tony Bullock said European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) harbours pest animals, outcompetes native plants and alters natural creeks.
“Blackberry thickets provide shelter for foxes and rabbits, and inhibit movement of native animals through bushland,” Tony said.
“Once established, blackberry can alter the flow of creeks and rivers, blocking waterways and completely overtaking wetlands. It’s a serious problem that can severely alter the landscape.”
The key to stopping the spread of this invasive weed is controlling it at the right time.
“The black fruit isn’t actually a berry in the botanical sense of the word,” Tony said.
“It’s an aggregate fruit made of small drupelets, each containing a seed. Tasty to humans and animals alike, the seed is easily spread when eaten by birds, foxes and rabbits.
“The best time to control blackberry is now, by spraying it with herbicide while it is leafy and actively growing, before fruiting.”
If you have blackberry on your property or adjoining roadside, check with your council for local regulations for removal.
“You can also chat to your local NRM officer about control and removal. We’re on the lookout for new infestations and are always keen to help out with advice.”
Contact information for NRM officers can be found via the link below or by calling the Natural Resources Centre in Mount Gambier 87351177 or in Keith 87551620.
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