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Brambles


Michelle Knight added on February 17, 2018 | Answered

I have just moved into a house with a very large garden. Part is fenced off but most is full of brambles and trees in various stages of growth. Neighbours say it hasnt been touched in over 20 years. What is the best way of attacking this. I have a brush cutter but am thinking about the roots. I want to be able to plant flowering shrubs and a few beds.ive never taken on anything this big or bad before so any advice will be appreciated. I have pets and there are a lot of squirrels use the garden so am worried about weed killers.


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ANSWERS
Michelle Knight
Answered on May 20, 2018

Update
After 2 weeks of ripping brambles, nettles and horsetail out I have finally got to a stage where I can see what there is. There are several sycamore tree stumps with new growth as well as new saplings. I was going to try not to use chemicals but there is far to much to avoid this. Once I have cleared everything including the full bin bags, old metal bike etc. I am just going to spray and rotavate.forgive spelling. If I keep doing this I might be able to plant next year. Ty for all your help.

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MichiganDot
Answered on February 18, 2018

When looking for wildflowers, do a web search for "native plant nursery near me". These have the plants/seeds that feed the birds, insects and caterpillars in your area. Each region is a little different so choosing a source near you have greater ecological value. "Wildflower" mixes are often non-native, easily germinated flowers but they don't have the same wildlife value. Some of the seeds included may be down right invasive.

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Michelle Knight
Answered on February 17, 2018

Ty. The big trees I will work around but will dig up the saplings. I don't want a picture perfect garden. Was thinking of wild flowers towards the bottom and try to put a stream feature under the trees. Maybe a couple of beds on the left side, and climbers on a fence. Will take your advice on the saplings. I've No idea what they are. Never had anything big enough to have a tree in before lol. The photo is misleading I could build 3 houses in it. Ty at least I know where to start :)

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MichiganDot
Answered on February 17, 2018

You can dig out the brambles; they aren't too deeply rooted but, as you see, they send out lateral roots that become new plants. This could have been a small raspberry patch at one time. The trees are your real worry. The best, most effective approach is to wait until they fully leaf out, cut them all the way to the ground and immediately treat the trunks with herbicide concentrate. (I use a small foam paintbrush.) If you do this before removing the brambles, your dogs are less likely to get into the herbicide. Of course, you can keep them out of the yard for 24 hours after which you can flush the treated stumps with water. However, if you are turning this into a garden, you'll have to fence the area from the dogs anyway. Start with the fence?There is a tool called a tree wrench which will remove saplings and brambles. Maybe one is available for rental where you live. I have dug out trees. I would get an ID on the saplings as digging is easier with some trees than others. (search for tree ID on the web) A mattock and long crowbar are very helpful in this endeavor. The last option is to cut down the trees after fully leafing out. (Leafing out uses up a lot of the stored energy in the roots. Cutting it down immediately prevents rebuilding of the root's energy reserves.) It will re-sprout. Cut it down ASAP. It will re-sprout; you get the picture. So you have to stay on top of it; allowing leaves to linger on a re-sprout is energy to the roots. Your goal is total root depletion of energy.

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