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Blackberries

Sue Asked

I had a grouping of wild blackberries in the wooded area beside my house for 30 years. This year a berry bush that I’ve never seen before has replaced the blackberry stand and is very invasive. Can you tell me what it possibly be & what I need to do with it?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Sue: It looks like you have another member of the Rubus genus taking over the blackberries. Wineberry or Wine Raspberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) is a nonnative shrub that is considered invasive in Kentucky. Identifying characteristics include the multi-stemmed canes covered in red hairs and thorns, as well as the white underside on the foliage.  The fruit is edible and yummy, but the aggressive growth habit is less than desirable. Dense thickets can quickly take over. Removing the roots is key to preventing new growth. The canes will die back after they fruit, but the prickles are still just as sharp so be careful when cutting back and digging the roots out. Spraying is not a good option since it will also damage the blackberries. Avoid composting. Thank you for sending the photo along with your question. It is always helpful to have a visual.

Angie Oakley

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