How to remove brambles in hedge

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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jordanjimjordanjim Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Hi, I have a conifer hedge on my boundary which is very overgrown with brambles. Last year I cut them down to ground level and removed what roots I could reach but some shoots are very thick, very established and very difficult to remove.

I've heard that a weedkiller like Roundup would be good for killing the brambles if I apply it to the leaves or cut stems. Does anyone know if this would also affect the conifers that the brambles are growing amongst? Digging up the hedge to weed out all the bramble roots is unfortunately not an option!


  • paddy's_mumpaddy's_mum Forumite
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    SBK brushwood killer, stroked onto the topmost leaves while wearing rubber gloves, and then wrap the treated stems in old carrier bags. Repeat as often as necessary.

    Very effective as I found out last year when, without permission and no warning before or after, my neighbour sprayed it onto 200 sq feet of my admittedly large garden - pet cats, dogs and visiting grandchildren notwithstanding!

    He couldn't grasp the concept of gardening to benefit wildlife and claimed that nobody wants hawthorn, wild roses and pyracantha in their hedges.
  • Thanks, I'll check it out. Looks good from online reviews!
  • ixwoodixwood Forumite
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    Sounds like trespass and criminal damage to me..
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Forumite
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    ixwood wrote: »
    Sounds like trespass and criminal damage to me..

    Sounds like someone taking action on a problem (with an overgrown garden affecting their own property) neighbour to me.

    OP - brambles are really best heaved out of the ground. I'd get on my hands and knees and give the base of the stems a few good forceful heaves to get them ripped out of the ground. You might need to enlist the help of someone with a bit of brute force. I find a few short hard pulls gets even large bramble stems out.

    To go round applying weed killer you'd need to use a brush to treat the leaves. It also won't be 100% effective.

    I do this almost every working day as a professional.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    We are not all going to agree on this.

    As a former owner of an extensive bramble hedge, loosely formed among other plants, I found that while digging and pulling cleared much of them, other roots remained, and only spot treatment with herbicide on a regular basis eventually killed them completely.

    Total time to full eradication was around 3years....
    People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Forumite
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    You'll miss a lot of smaller stems if there's a load of brambles in a hedge and you're trying to spot treat them with weedkiller. If you're on the ground looking for the bramble stems it's possible to get everything up. Hence that's what I'd suggest.

    Tip for future - clear the lowest part of the hedge a bit so maintenance is easier in future. Do this by trimming it back a bit more, removing suckers, raking out leaves etc.
  • edited 23 July 2016 at 4:49PM
    paddy's_mumpaddy's_mum Forumite
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    edited 23 July 2016 at 4:49PM
    glasgowdan wrote: »
    Sounds like someone taking action on a problem neighbour to me - (with an overgrown garden affecting their own property).

    (My alteration for clarity - pm)

    Crikey, glasgowdan - did you hurt yourself when you landed after jumping to that astoundingly inaccurate conclusion!? ;)

    My hedge is 10 feet inside my land, and well beyond my neighbour's fence which is why he had to use a high pressure sprayer to reach the plants, shrubs and trees which he destroyed. This was not a case of nipping back a bit of unruly foliage.

    His own garden is regimented and immaculate. Fair play to the man, that's his choice. We prefer a looser style with lots of wildlife support. That's our choice.

    Whether or not he liked what we do on our land, he had no rights in law whatsoever to willy-nilly spray poison onto someone else's ground. He didn't even have the 'spherical objects' to let us know he had done it even though he knew beyond any doubt that pets and children use our garden constantly. Would you appreciate having someone damage or destroy your belongings?

    He nearly fell over in trying to back-pedal once he realised that we had called the Police and subsequently sent a formal apology via our solicitor. That apology probably had something to do with the fact that he is a specialist worker in the homes of the vulnerable and disabled - a criminal record was not going to help his business thrive, now was it? :D

    I'm no angel but I sure as hell don't deserve to have some arrogant man wrecking my garden because he thinks his opinion is the only one having any validity! :A
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    You can now get Roundup gel from garden centres if you don't want to spray things. That can be smeared all over any growing tips (I suggest wearing gloves when doing that). However, you will end up with lots of dead brambles to cut back. But it doesn't appear to be a very strong weedkiller, so you may need to apply it generously.

    If digging brambles out, the main thing is to get the crown in the centre where all the new shoots grow from. You don't need to get out every last root.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Roundup isn't much use my residual brambles, and digging them up,is hard as the runners are mega long and too well rooted for me to pull out. Sad lack of muscle power.
  • greenbeegreenbee Forumite
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    I've got a lot of brambles in a well-established hedge that I need to deal with so will be trying out some of this advice. One side is right on the road, so difficult to deal with.

    The hedge itself was in a poor state when I moved in 3 years ago and is finally starting to look much happier (I've been cutting the sides back hard and just trimming the top to try to get it to fill in the middle and grow upwards) although there are a few gaps, which I'm filling with native rambling roses and cuttings from the several willows in the garden.

    However, the brambles, nettles, horsetail and ground elder are something of a challenge. I'll leave the meadowsweet.
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