Have you ever been cut or scratched by a blackberry prickle (thorn); been tripped by its endless vines; been bitten by the critters lurking in its womb or stung by the nettles skirting its perimeter? I surely have!
Blackberries are delicious to eat but the old and wild growth of their thickets yield no such delights. Consequently, my mission of the month was to eradicate this menace all along the property’s winding driveway.
In my post, The Mountain Beaver, not only did I introduce the reader to my little nemesis but also rendered the complicated terrain and robust verdant of the estate. Most of the back-breaking work involved in the land’s transformation to a park-like setting was the eradication of blackberry bushes and their unbridled growth.
The mission’s validity:
The Invasive ( Rubis lacinatus) Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry
It seems odd that a fruit as small and delicious as a blackberry can be produced by such an invasive and annoying enterprise.
The blackberry species Rubus lacinatus is prolific in forested areas particularly in Canada and the North East and Pacific Coasts. It is a deciduous bramble growing up to a height of 10 ft and up to 20 ft in length with prickly shoots and stems (canes) fed from a deep and convoluted perennial root system. The bush’s leaves have 5 leaflets with jagged thorny tips and the flowers white with 3-lobed petals. (1)
The thicket’s womb does give shelter to small animals and its leaves a delicacy to the deer population (which is large in this area). However, that is not sufficient criteria to prevent its complete eradication from my driveway. Children and even adults get cut by its prickles, and stung by harboring nettles and insects; its vicious vines squeeze the life out of rhododendrons, azaleas or any other plant in its search for domination, and its disheveled appearance, ominous to the eye.
The Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry has no home in my world.*
*I must relent that I do love blackberry cobbler and pies (from someone else’s pickings) and I’d like to share a delicious recipe from Betty Crocker.com: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/blackberry-cobbler/97b86fd2-7588-497b-866d-8a1bd8b2e491, for your enjoyment.