What is blackberry?

(Rubus fruticosus agg.)
Blackberry fruitGeneric Weed Distribution Map

  • Blackberry is the name used for a range of closely-related brambles. Blackberry is a serious and highly invasive environmental and agricultural weed.
  • Blackberries are declared weeds under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of blackberry are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • Blackberry is also a Weed of National Significance (WONS).

      Important Note - Do not apply any herbicides to blackberry plants that are carrying fruit.

How to identify blackberry

  • Blackberries are spiny, perennial (long-lived) shrubs with trailing stems which can produce dense thickets. The canes may be erect, arching or trailing and they can reach 6 m in length. Blackberries thickets can reach two or more meters in height and cover many square meters in area.
  • Blackberries are relatively straightforward to identify. However, if you are in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.
Blackberry with early fruitBlackberry  flowers, image: Marty Bower, West Coast Weed & Fire Management Group
Image top right: Blackberry fruit, image: Kiowa Fenner, DPIPWE
Images above, left to right: Blackberry and early fruit, image: Kiowa Fenner, DPIPWE; White blackberry flowers, image: Marty Bower, West Coast Weed & Fire Management Group; Blackberry, image: Kiowa Fenner, DPIPWE

Blackberry in Tasmania

  • Blackberries occur in all settled areas of Tasmania (see map). Blackberries prefer open situations and occur as a weed in disturbed bush, along stream-sides, roadsides, tracks and fence lines, and in degraded pasture and neglected areas.
  • Severe infestations of blackberry on farmland can effect agricultural production and reduce access to water and land. Blackberry is also an important weed of disturbed and degraded native vegetation, particularly along stream-sides. Blackberries can also pose a significant fire hazard and provide a haven for vermin.

What is the legal status of blackberry in your area?

  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with blackberry are laid out in the Statutory Weed Management Plan for blackberry.
  • Use Table 1 (Zone A municipalities) and Table 2 (Zone B municipalities) in the Statutory Weed Management Plan to find out whether your area falls in an eradication or containment zone.
Detailed management and control guidelines can be found in the Blackberry Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Blackberry Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

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