How to Get Control of Brambles

How to Get Control of Brambles

Key Facts:

  • Areas affected: woodlands, hedgerows, gardens, scrubland, waste ground, roadside verges
  • Timings: Late Spring to Autumn

Page Contents:

Controlling Brambles

Controlling and getting rid of brambles is one of those jobs that seems like a lot of hard, dangerous work but in reality can be achieved fairly quickly and simply.


Brambles are often little more than overgrown blackberries – also in this family of Rubus plants are: Raspberry, Boysenberry, Loganberry and Tayberry.


Bramble stems can be upright or prostrate along the ground but left to its own devices the thick, spiky stems will curl and twist amongst each other to form an increasingly tall impenetrable barrier. The stems are thick walled with a soft centre with sharp spines or spikes dotted along its length. Brambles are woody, herbaceous perennials and will grow from an established root system in the ground. Older stems will lose colour gradually from a greeny/ purple and become fibrous or woody and more brown in colour. Their flowers are a good source of nectar energy for hoverflies, butterflies and some moth species.


These quick growing plants can outgrow their space quickly and bramble control needs to be planned in advance. The extensive root system make digging out a job for the JCB digger. Brambles can be cut back to a low lying stalk of approx. 3-4”/ 10cm and waiting for a few sets of new, green leaves and controlling with a with a weed killer for brambles. If cutting back is too hard a job, then brambles can still be controlled by spraying when the new growth is young and fresh generally in spring. The best weed killer to use to control brambles usually contains active ingredients such as glyphosate or triclopyr- as these are ideal for woody weeds – but remember always read the label before applying. The weed killer chosen will depend on whether you want to keep any surrounding grass or plants.



The choices for a bramble killer are either a selective spray (to save any grass) or a total weed killer which can affect any green-leaved plant the spray touches. All options, below, degrade quickly in the soil so offer no long-term damage to the ecosystem.

As with all weed killers, we recommend wearing full PPE while applying the following products. To view our full range, click here.

Selective Treatment - Grazon Pro This is perhaps the strongest bramble killer

  • Suitable for grassland / paddock areas
  • Apply by knapsack sprayer
  • Thoroughly wet leaves to the point of runoff
  • Safe for grass
  • For Amenity areas see: Icade
  • For an amateur use product see: SBK Brushwood Killer

Total Weed Killer - Glyphosate (Roundup ProActiveRoundup ProVantageGallup BiogradeGallup Hi Aktiv)

  • Spray foliage to the point of runoff
  • Best used in conjunction with an adjuvant: Validate, which makes the spray more efficient by sticking to the leaf and penetrating the thick leaf surface quicker
  • For an amateur use product see: Gallup Home & Garden
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