Sweet Briar Control Guide

Spread of Sweet briar

Sweet Briar (Flowering), photo: Tim Rudman

  • Sweet briar spreads mainly by the dispersal of seed. Birds eat the hips, and seeds germinate from the droppings. Seeds can also spread via water along creeks and waterways.
  • Sweet briar may also regenerate from root and crown fragments left after mechanical disturbance of an infestation.

Physical removal

  • Dozer blades or chains are effective methods for removing sweet briar. Remove as much as possible of the root system to avoid re-growth from root pieces remaining in the soil.


  • Deep ploughing will remove sweet briar, while establishing a well managed, vigorous pasture helps prevent the re-establishment of the weed. Repeated cultivation will control seedlings and small re-growth.


  • Sweet briar will not usually establish in well managed and grazed pasture. The seedlings are delicate and heavy grazing with sheep will usually control the weed.
  • Goats will eat practically the whole of the bush and if present in sufficient numbers can eliminate entire infestations.

Chemical control

  • A number of herbicides are registered for use on sweet briar in Tasmania. See Herbicides for Sweet Briar Control for more information.
  • Regardless of which herbicide is used, treated bushes should be left undisturbed for at least six months after herbicide application.
  • Treated bushes should be checked for regrowth in the two years following application, as regrowth may not appear for up to two years after treatment.
  • Regrowth should be treated with herbicide only after regrowth is at least 300 mm high.

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