Hi everyone, just bought a 20 acre block

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556445 by Off.the.grid
Hi everyone, just bought an off the grid 20 acre block.
Have 2 hectares of redwoods newly planted.
First job is going to be to clear all the blackberry around them!

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556447 by wizeowl
Congratulations! Enjoy the blackberry clearing. I find a hedge trimmer excellent for cutting down blackberry.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556448 by Off.the.grid
Ok thats good you know, I bought a modular sthil weedeater with seperate attachments.
I might get the hedgetrimmer if necessary, im assuming that would be good for well established blackberry? I've got the rotary blade to use for the time being.
Most of this stuff is close to the ground and quite low.
I'm hoping that once we get stock grazing, that the blackberry will be easier to spot and stay under control.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556450 by tonybaker
Great to hear you have taken the plunge! However I think you have a serious situation there that requires careful planning. It is tempting to try and destroy weeds manually but unfortunately they will just keep coming back. Blackberry is notoriously difficult to eradicate permanently, especially if you have trees in the way. The root system is difficult to destroy and is usually unaffected by slashing or grazing. The best time to spray is when the plants are in full leaf. Herbicides that control blackberry include metsulfuron, triclopyr and picloram mixes, and glyphosate (Roundup).
I hope you have tree guards around those young plants or the rabbits will ring bark them in short order. If you have, and the blackberry is low growing you should spray with Roundup now using a sticker surfactant in the mix. You should see results in 2 or 3 weeks, then you can start slashing and burning. Remember that it's those underground roots you are trying to kill, just cutting the tops off only invigorates them, especially at this time of year.
Best advice is to seek help from your local herbicide contractor. And let it be a warning to you not to plant raspberries in your garden!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556451 by Off.the.grid
Well I hope I haven't taken too much on board!
I was told that blackberry hate the shade, so once the redwoods get up high enough, that the blackberry should die off on its own.
With regards to blackberry where animals graze, I was told that sheep and goats will eat the young leaves and the ryzomes in the ground will eventually die off with enough grazing.
The last owner has cut them back a bit so there is not many leaves, but the odd wiry bit of thorns that you trip over in the long grass. He told us it will be easier to find to spray or cut if you get some sheep in there to bring down the pasture enough.
Was also told that pigs are great to remove blackberry as they root up the plants?

As far as rabbits and possums go, we luckily don't have many, but I will have to make do with my slug gun until I get my FAL in another 12 months.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556452 by max2
Be careful with blackberry canes/spikes. We recently ran sheep through a weedy paddock and a couple of times we had to go in to clip a mid sized lamb out of being caught up in the canes.

I can assure you the blackberries, in either case, were not very big or long too. Not fair on the stock esp. in the heat of summer unless you are going around them twice a day to check and check again.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556453 by Off.the.grid
Yes I hear that sheep can get hooked on them easily. It's a bit of a hard one as the grass is real long and it's difficult to spot all the plants.
It might be better to put some cattle in there for a bit perhaps, since they eat more and are less likely to have issues with the blackberry?
The following user(s) said Thank You: max2

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556454 by LongRidge
Goats, and donkeys, are the answer to blackberries. Unfortunately, they are also the answer to sequoia.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556455 by Off.the.grid

Goats, and donkeys, are the answer to blackberries. Unfortunately, they are also the answer to sequoia.

That's fine with me, I would keep them to the paddocks outside the redwoods.
I know goats can debark trees, so unsure if I can put them in with them at all, but I intend to keep sheep in there.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556456 by Stikkibeek
Sheep will ringbark trees too. Stock of no type, will be the answer to blackberry. Only spray will deal with that and you will need to be persistent over a few years.
it is gorse that doesn't like to be shaded out. Blackberry will continue to grow and colonize any space with a bit of sunlight. best blackberries we ever picked as kids, was in and around a deep, ancient kahikatea forest.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556457 by Off.the.grid

Sheep will ringbark trees too. Stock of no type, will be the answer to blackberry. Only spray will deal with that and you will need to be persistent over a few years.
it is gorse that doesn't like to be shaded out. Blackberry will continue to grow and colonize any space with a bit of sunlight. best blackberries we ever picked as kids, was in and around a deep, ancient kahikatea forest.

OK, that's interesting to hear. He told us to put stock in there once the trees get up.
Doesn't bother me too much if there is blackberry under the trees, as it's scrap land that isn't very useful.
Are there any sprays that are safe to use round trees that kill blackberry?

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556458 by tonybaker
ok, let's be honest with you, you have done what most of us have done a few times before - steamed ahead without doing much research first!! That's why it's great that you have found this site so you can learn from our mistakes.
The best advice, and it's not one you want to hear, is to dig up all those young trees and put them in a nursery area well fenced off whilst you deal to the blackberry issue properly.
Obviously you can't contemplate doing that at this stage as I know how hard it is to finance and physically plant all those seedlings.
I have planted well over 2,000 eucalyptus seedlings and wished I knew then what I know now. All that effort watering by hand, weeding, chasing neighbours goats out, swearing at rabbits etc.
You can't kill blackberry using piecemeal methods, You need a good spray regime and then aggressive cultivation. You can't run any stock amongst tree seedlings until they are at least 5 years old, and even then it is risky. My sheep will stand on each others backs to get at the oak tree leaves, cows can push over any fence to get at greenery on the other side. Don't even mention horses or alpacas please, also you will need to get good at electric fencing.
In a normal situation and in a grassy paddock free of invasive weeds, you would deep rip planting lines and then spot spray planting sites well ahead of actual planting. Then you can use Gardoprim to spray around the seedlings as weeds emerge. It is a herbicide commonly used in forestry and is a longish term weedkiller that trees can tolerate as long as you make some effort to keep it off the foliage. Of course you would have placed a tree guard around the seedlings anyway by now. Then you have to hand water for a few years to get them established. In between times you will be mowing between the rows to reduce grass competition. I hope you have a nice little Fergie tractor that you can use! By the way, blackberry jam is my favourite!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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6 months 3 weeks ago - 6 months 3 weeks ago #556459 by Off.the.grid

ok, let's be honest with you, you have done what most of us have done a few times before - steamed ahead without doing much research first!! That's why it's great that you have found this site so you can learn from our mistakes.
The best advice, and it's not one you want to hear, is to dig up all those young trees and put them in a nursery area well fenced off whilst you deal to the blackberry issue properly.
Obviously you can't contemplate doing that at this stage as I know how hard it is to finance and physically plant all those seedlings.
I have planted well over 2,000 eucalyptus seedlings and wished I knew then what I know now. All that effort watering by hand, weeding, chasing neighbours goats out, swearing at rabbits etc.
You can't kill blackberry using piecemeal methods, You need a good spray regime and then aggressive cultivation. You can't run any stock amongst tree seedlings until they are at least 5 years old, and even then it is risky. My sheep will stand on each others backs to get at the oak tree leaves, cows can push over any fence to get at greenery on the other side. Don't even mention horses or alpacas please, also you will need to get good at electric fencing.
In a normal situation and in a grassy paddock free of invasive weeds, you would deep rip planting lines and then spot spray planting sites well ahead of actual planting. Then you can use Gardoprim to spray around the seedlings as weeds emerge. It is a herbicide commonly used in forestry and is a longish term weedkiller that trees can tolerate as long as you make some effort to keep it off the foliage. Of course you would have placed a tree guard around the seedlings anyway by now. Then you have to hand water for a few years to get them established. In between times you will be mowing between the rows to reduce grass competition. I hope you have a nice little Fergie tractor that you can use! By the way, blackberry jam is my favourite!

Yes, thats the whole reason I joined on here!
Sorry, I may not have been clear enough in my previous posts, but the trees are well fenced off from the other paddocks.
Now if i had to resort to removing all the trees, I think I wouldnt even bother about planting them back, I would probably just leave it regen in native bush and let manuka take over (there is already the odd bit sprouting)
Perhaps this is still a good option? The landowner took me around the property last week and showed me what to do round the redwoods, he said to clear a good 1 to 2 metres radius around each tree and that it should almost be enough by next season for the trees to poke through and not be affected, he claimed what I thought was true going by what ive read elsewhere regarding blackberry, that they hate shade and die off.
I know my friends farm has alot of blackberry and they have many trees, and there is still blackberry under the shaded areas, but its nowhere near as bad as where its growing in full sun, so I have some hope that it will be more manageable.
Once these redwoods get up, I will only really worry about controlling any growth on the access tracks in the area.
Something else I should add is that these trees are on a hilly part of the property and steep in places, no way of mowing between the trees or anything.

Now I should add, that its not all blackberry around the trees, there are all sorts of plants/weeds establishing in there.
Anyway, he said how it cost him alot to plant and would add huge value to the property, said to me about government benefits for trees that im entitled to, (an extra title or something?)
The redwoods are still going to be the best part of 30 years to maturity, so thats not any incentive for me at this stage to get any income from them any time soon, but i guess it still adds capital value to the property.

As far as weeds go on the property, ive only got blackberry and the odd foxglove in the grazing paddocks.
Found one small gorse bush popping up which I will remove and thats about it.
As far as goats go, ive read here that they require electric fencing, but the owner told me he didnt think I would need to worry, as the fencing is pretty good.
Im thinking at this point of just starting off with goats in the grazing paddocks, and then add sheep once ive got the blackberry under control, its not terribly thick, but there are small plants everywhere which I need to get on top of.
I dont believe animals typically eat foxglove, but since they are in flower, it makes them super easy to spot in the long grass and pull out.

And yes, I plan on making blackberry jam and wine ;)
Last edit: 6 months 3 weeks ago by Off.the.grid.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556460 by tonybaker
Oh sorry, from your original post I thought you had planted the trees! yourself HERE IS a good description of how to handle redwoods. I think that your only option now is to let nature take its course and keep up the spray regime suggested by the seller. If you can get hold of some used vine guards cheaply it would greatly simplify spraying and keep rabbits away. You will need a bamboo cane for each one as well. Do you have any photos of the seedlings and the general paddock area?

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556461 by Off.the.grid

Oh sorry, from your original post I thought you had planted the trees! yourself HERE IS a good description of how to handle redwoods. I think that your only option now is to let nature take its course and keep up the spray regime suggested by the seller. If you can get hold of some used vine guards cheaply it would greatly simplify spraying and keep rabbits away. You will need a bamboo cane for each one as well. Do you have any photos of the seedlings and the general paddock area?

Should be able to grab some photos this weekend when im out there, i havent actually occupied the property just yet until settlement.
The seller has already cleared about half the redwoods of weeds, so only have the top half remaining.
Some of the redwoods are already quite high, while others are barley a foot tall and hard to spot. Its these small ones that are more important to weed around.

Would like some opinions on planting areas out in native, the bottom end of the block has little grazing and is hilly.
Dont know if 2 hectares worth of manuka is worth much for honey, but it would make less work on the property if left to go back into bush on the parts that are not very farmable.

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