Blackberry weed control to commence soon on roadsides and public land

Don't eat blackberries during spraying season. Picture: ON FILE

Yarra Ranges Council is urging the community to not pick or eat blackberries while it sprays them during their growth period (between now and April), to limit the spread of the noxious weed.

Council, private landholders and other agencies are required to target and limit the spread of blackberries under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.

Council has a small window of opportunity to treat the weed to get the best results, with the plant then being dormant for the rest of the year during cooler months.

The spray that’s used is heavily-diluted, with no scientific evidence showing an impact to animals that eat the berries.

Despite this, Council still urges the community to not consume the berries just to be safe.

Blackberries are recognised as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) in Australia due to its high degree of invasiveness, its aggressive spread, and its economic and environmental impacts.

Blackberries can threaten agricultural and natural ecosystems by dominating other crops in its vicinity as well as natural vegetation.

Council’s priority is to treat the blackberries before they fruit from January-March, however some spraying occasionally needs to take place while the weed does fruit, due to rapid growth in the region.

Advisory signs are in place at sites of spraying, and for any queries, community members can call Council’s Bushland Team on 1300 368 333.