Himalayan Blackberry Origin and Habitat

by | Nov 1, 2019


Contrary to its common name, Himalayan blackberry is a native of Western Europe. Himalayan blackberry was probably first introduced to North America in 1885 as a cultivated crop. By 1945 it had naturalized along the West Coast. Himalayan blackberry occurs on both acidic and alkaline soils, mainly in areas with an average annual rainfall greater than (29 inches) at altitudes up to (6000 feet). It thrives and may form impenetrable thickets in wastelands, pastures, forest plantations, roadsides, creek gullies, river flats, riparian areas, fence lines, and right-of-way corridors. Himalayan blackberry thrives in moist but not true wetland soils, and tolerates a wide range of soil moisture.

Ecological Threat

Himalayan blackberry readily invades forest edges, oak woodlands, meadows, roadsides, clear-cuts, and any other relatively open area, including all open forest types. Once it becomes well established, Himalayan blackberry out competes low stature native vegetation and can prevent establishment of shade intolerant trees (such as Douglas fir, Ponderosa Pine and Oregon white oak), leading to the formation of apparently permanent Himalayan blackberry thickets with little other vegetation present. The resulting dense thickets can limit movement of large animals from meadow to forest and vice versa, reducing the utility of small openings and meadows as foraging areas. Although the fruit is widely consumed by native animals, and some butterflies use Himalayan blackberry, it is a poor functional replacement for a diverse native forest understory, meadow, or riparian floodplain.

Clearing blackberries

Benefits of Forestry Mulching

When using forestry mulching to eradicate black berries we can identify and leave desired species (such as Douglas fir, Ponderosa Pine and Oregon white oak) of trees unaffected. Mulching is highly effective and relatively inexpensive at controlling woody vegetation on gentle topography even with few site obstacles such as root stumps, logs, or rocks. Unlike brush hogs our mulching machine can handle running into rocks roots dirt and can even Mulch smaller stumps or old nurse stumps, these common obstacles can damage brush hog style mowers. Causing down time and unfinished jobs. As with other methods of removing above ground vegetation, several cuttings can be required before the underground parts exhaust their reserve food supply. If only a single cutting can be made, the best time is when the plants begin to flower. At this stage the reserve food supply in the roots has been nearly exhausted, and new seeds have not yet been produced. As see can see in the photos very little is left of the blackberries after being mulched. With our forestry mulcher in the right conditions (flat ground no obstacles to go around) we can mulch 5 acres in 8 hours.

Mulch in hand

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