Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Brambles: to remove or not to remove  (Read 3876 times)

dog

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Rutland
  • New to the site, still learning...
Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« on: February 11, 2016, 11:30:25 am »
Hi,
I am fairly new here, so hello everyone, I bought a house 3 years ago with 2 acre square paddock. It was pretty overgrown when we moved in (as was the garden) and now we have the main garden under control I want to get on to sorting out the paddock. 

Down one edge (about 50 metres long) I have brambles over 2-3m high and probably 2-3m deep. They back onto a row of houses (back gardens) but there is a small stream between the paddock and the neighbours, so the is a small air gap. I assume that the neighbours 'manage' any encroachment of the brambles into their gardens as they need to, but from the paddock the brambles look huge. 

There are a few youngish trees (5-10 yrs old) near, and the brambles seem to edging closer to them.  The brambles must be a haven for wildlife.

I keep thinking I should do something and remove them, but I also wonder what harm they are actually doing. So my question is, what damage can they do?  If none, then what the point in removing them.  Any advice would be really appreciated.

Many thanks
Chris

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 01:44:50 pm »
Brambles spread by throwing out long,thorny stems which reach down to the ground and root there.  These can be about 6' long, so the bramble patch spreads really quite quickly.  I agree that these patches are wonderful havens for wildlife, providing food, shelter, nesting sites, nectar and pollen, not to mention fruit for picking for us. 
Apart from the spreading bit, they are predators too, of humans and sheep  :thinking:.  Those long stems wrap themselves around human legs and hang on, but it's more serious for sheep.  They become entangled in thorny stems and simply stand there til they die if no-one finds them.  The bramble meanwhile has got itself a couple of years worth of fertility as the carcase rots.

If it were my patch (and I do have some) I would leave it be, but keep it trimmed around the edges.  Whenever you see those long stems beginning to root into the ground, dig them up.  That way you will limit the spread.  It's worth fencing off the main patch if you are going to have sheep or small children in the paddock.

The wildlife will love you  :bee: :bfly: :ladybug: :bee:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

dog

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Rutland
  • New to the site, still learning...
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 02:45:16 pm »
Hi, thanks for this reply, it is useful to get advice. We don't have any animals (unless you cont my 6 & 8 year old boys as wild), so the sheep bit isn't a problem but I can see how that could happen.  I think I will aim to give it a trim around the edges this year to ensure it doesn't wrap itself around the trees and also try to ensure it isn't being too much of a nuisance to the neighbours - but other than that, leave it to the wildlife to enjoy.
Cheers
Chris

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 04:17:50 pm »
I stepped onto the verge to allow a car to pass a couple of months ago, then stepped off again but my right foot didn't follow as it was caught behind a rooted bramble shoot, which acted as a very efficient tripwire.  I crashed to the tarmac on all fours and limped for two days afterwards, so definitely not a fan of brambles.  Can you limit them to a narrow strip next to the fence?  Or banish them and grow one of the giant blackberry varieties instead - lots of jam, much less work to pick 'em.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 04:32:17 pm »
If you want it to produce more fruit you need to trim it - it will fruit best on stems that are two years old, so you could cut half one year and half the next etc alternating.  Get rid of any nasty old woody bits.


If it were mine, and I had livestock, I'd probably get rid of it and replace with something less annoying!

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2016, 05:23:25 pm »
I was just thinking night before last about cultivating some brambles in an organised fashion for winter goat greens. They still have leaves on them now, and the goats seem to love nibbling them all off.

edstrong

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2016, 06:13:09 pm »
I've also got loads of brambles in my new field, and am planning to keep a large patch for all the reasons mentioned above. Dog, I'm going to cut my patch so that I can get between it and the fence/neighbours, perhaps you'd want to do this too to keep it all under control? No point having a bramble patch more than a few feet deep as you won't be able to get to the middle when you're picking.

dog

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Rutland
  • New to the site, still learning...
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 06:59:40 pm »
Hi All,
Thanks for the replies. This week I will take a good look 'round the back' of them to see how much they are impacting the neighbours, and I will keep the trimmed. The crazy thing is that we don't even pick those blackberries because we get more fruit per sq m of bramble in other parts of the garden that seem to have a better crop and less lethal to pick (although last year I was on a ladder which sort of fell into the bush so had to carefully remove myself. Thankfully not too much damage!).   I know this is probably a good reason to get rid and replace, but that also sounds like a big job.
Cheers all,



edstrong

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 09:35:38 pm »
The best piece of kit I have for getting rid of brambles and a lot else is a long pole petrol hedge trimmer - my one is a Kawasaki KCL525A. It eats through brambles so easily.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Brambles: to remove or not to remove
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 09:27:59 am »
My best way of getting rid of brambles is my goats  :love: :goat: :goat: :goat:
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

 

Getting rid of Brambles

Started by cwmearl (7.92)

Replies: 5
Views: 2913
Last post November 08, 2012, 07:02:40 pm
by supplies for smallholders
BRAMBLES

Started by FahransFeathers (7.92)

Replies: 8
Views: 2375
Last post April 09, 2022, 06:38:54 am
by Backinwellies
Can I treat brambles/nettles etc without killing everything else?

Started by PaulM (7.66)

Replies: 11
Views: 17146
Last post October 12, 2011, 01:17:02 pm
by MikeM

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2023. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS