How to Get Rid of Rampant Brambles

Although controlling brambles can be a gardener's or land owner's nightmare, there are steps that can be taken to reclaim land overrun by brambles, or at least prevent their spread. Brambles are any number of cane- and berry-producing biennials, which include black raspberries and dewberries. They can spread quickly over a wide area by the birds and wildlife that eat the berries. Some varieties can propagate by "tip-rooting," which occurs when a new plant is started by the cane of an old plant that touches the ground. Brambles are an aggressive plant and can cover bare ground and out-compete other plants for nutrients and space. Brambles are also notoriously difficult to kill. Learn how to get rid of rampant brambles by following multiple steps, but know that it may take several years.


  1. 1
    Mow the brambles in mid-summer during the flowering time. Use a mower or a tractor with a shredder attachment. This will remove the nutrient-rich stems and starve the roots. This will also eliminate berry production, which will reduce next year's seed bank.
  2. 2
    Burn the bramble patch each year. Brambles are very sensitive to fire; however, this does not kill the roots. This method can also be used to reduce seed production.
    • Since brambles take 2 years to produce berries, the first year for cane growth and the second for berry production, use methods that eliminate each year's cane growth. This can help in to control brambles, but will not eradicate them.
  3. 3
    Cut the canes and treat each with a glyphosate herbicide. Place the glyphosate in a spray bottle or pump sprayer. As you cut each cane, spritz the remaining base plant with the herbicide. Dead canes do not need to be cut or treated. This is a time-consuming method, but one of the best available to combat brambles. With this method, a burn should be carried out to kill the seeds.
    • Wear protective clothing such as gloves, long pants, a long-sleeve shirt, and mask when spraying herbicides. Remove and wash clothing as soon as possible after spraying.
  4. 4
    Spray large bramble infestations with a wide-coverage foliar herbicide. These herbicides will kill the plants that the touch the spray, but often a repeat spray is required to reach the plants that were protected by the taller plants.


  • When using herbicide sprays to get rid of brambles, carefully choose the day you spray. Try to choose a day when winds are calm or nonexistent to prevent the herbicide from killing non-target plants. Also, choose a day that will be without precipitation, since that will wash away the herbicide.
  • When working to control brambles, make sure you wear thick gloves and clothing that will not catch and tear easily.


  • Always wash skin thoroughly that has been exposed to the herbicides.
  • Be careful when spraying wide-coverage foliar herbicides as they will kill non-target plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Mower or tractor with shredder attachment
  • Pruning shears
  • Glyphosate herbicide
  • Spray bottle or pump sprayer
  • Gloves, long pants, a long-sleeve shirt, and mask
  • Foliar herbicide

Article Info

Categories: Garden Pests and Weeds