I Hate Green Briars!

YourRabbitGirl

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Our 8 acres is overrun with green briars. We have been cutting, digging and burning them. When we pull in the driveway, the pasture on the right has a ten foot strip of grass, the rest is woods, standing dead trees and green briars. The green briars form a wall of impenetrable thorny vines up to the tree tops. There are dead standing trees that are held up by the swarm of green briars. This is the pasture where I keep the sheep and it has their night pen and shelter in it. It is about an acre. When we put the sheep in there, we couldn't even see from one side to the other. There were trails around the outside, but since we weren't interested in cutting ourselves to ribbons on the briars, we just let them be.

This is a winter picture that lets you see just how thick the vines are! Notice the dead standing tree?

View attachment 13825

Same picture, last week. The gray area at the bottom is newly exposed dirt where the vines weren't so thick and the sheep ate them. If you notice, the vines are stripped at the bottom. Go Sheep!

View attachment 13828

The sheep have done a fantastic job of clearing out underbrush and green briars. As far up as they can reach, the sheep have eaten holes in the solid green briars. They don't eat the hard, thorny vines, but they strip the leaves and tender shoots. I even snack on the tender shoots, they taste like asparagus. For the first time, we can SEE! I have been walking on the sheep trails, bending down branches for the sheep while they swarm like eating machines. I showed our grand daughter how to do this and she has had a blast with the sheep.

View attachment 13827



We started pulling the green briar vines down. We hack them off at soil level with machetes, then pull the vines down out of the trees. We drag them to the ever growing 10' strip of "pasture" and the sheep happily munch on the green briars.

View attachment 13826

We pushed over some dead standing trees, chained on to them and dragged them out with Marigold. It also helped drag out some of the vines.

View attachment 13829

Last week, we cut, hacked, dragged, and loaded up FIVE pick up loads of green briar vines. We used a long pole thrust through the snarl to fold them over, then I climbed on the pile and stomped it. yes, green briar thorns did stab me through blue jeans. We folded and stomped until they were in a wad of ugly thorns, then stuck the pole through and dragged them up in the truck. We burned a huge pile of them.

View attachment 13830


Yesterday, we machete chopped more vines. The sheep enjoyed our efforts immensely. We pulled vines down from the tree tops in long strands. We worked at it for several hours until were dripping wet with sweat, hot, and tired. We quit for the day and went in to cool off. This morning we attacked vines again. The sheep helped. It goes like this; Chop vines off at the ground, pull. Find a vine that is not chopped, slash it with machete, pull with both hands, lean weight inTo be honest, the name of the genus Smilax has nothing to do with smiling; one interpretation is that the word was originally derived from the Greek word for "poison" although Greenbrier berries are apparently non-toxic.to it. Find another vine, sheep is standing on machete handle, eating vines. Push sheep out of way, pick up machete, slash vine. Drop machete, pull. Leaves rain down, sheep scramble to be the first to eat them. Pull. Pull hard, heeerrrreeee they come! Vines fall to ground, sheep run to them, get tangled while I am trying to pull them to the pile.

We made a truck load and dumped it at the burn pile. It was starting to sprinkle ahead of the rain predicted for today, so we went in.
To be honest, the name of the genus Smilax has nothing to do with smiling; one interpretation is that the word was originally derived from the Greek word for "poison" although Greenbrier berries are apparently non-toxic.
 

YourRabbitGirl

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Our 8 acres is overrun with green briars. We have been cutting, digging and burning them. When we pull in the driveway, the pasture on the right has a ten foot strip of grass, the rest is woods, standing dead trees and green briars. The green briars form a wall of impenetrable thorny vines up to the tree tops. There are dead standing trees that are held up by the swarm of green briars. This is the pasture where I keep the sheep and it has their night pen and shelter in it. It is about an acre. When we put the sheep in there, we couldn't even see from one side to the other. There were trails around the outside, but since we weren't interested in cutting ourselves to ribbons on the briars, we just let them be.

This is a winter picture that lets you see just how thick the vines are! Notice the dead standing tree?

View attachment 13825

Same picture, last week. The gray area at the bottom is newly exposed dirt where the vines weren't so thick and the sheep ate them. If you notice, the vines are stripped at the bottom. Go Sheep!

View attachment 13828

The sheep have done a fantastic job of clearing out underbrush and green briars. As far up as they can reach, the sheep have eaten holes in the solid green briars. They don't eat the hard, thorny vines, but they strip the leaves and tender shoots. I even snack on the tender shoots, they taste like asparagus. For the first time, we can SEE! I have been walking on the sheep trails, bending down branches for the sheep while they swarm like eating machines. I showed our grand daughter how to do this and she has had a blast with the sheep.

View attachment 13827



We started pulling the green briar vines down. We hack them off at soil level with machetes, then pull the vines down out of the trees. We drag them to the ever growing 10' strip of "pasture" and the sheep happily munch on the green briars.

View attachment 13826

We pushed over some dead standing trees, chained on to them and dragged them out with Marigold. It also helped drag out some of the vines.

View attachment 13829

Last week, we cut, hacked, dragged, and loaded up FIVE pick up loads of green briar vines. We used a long pole thrust through the snarl to fold them over, then I climbed on the pile and stomped it. yes, green briar thorns did stab me through blue jeans. We folded and stomped until they were in a wad of ugly thorns, then stuck the pole through and dragged them up in the truck. We burned a huge pile of them.

View attachment 13830


Yesterday, we machete chopped more vines. The sheep enjoyed our efforts immensely. We pulled vines down from the tree tops in long strands. We worked at it for several hours until were dripping wet with sweat, hot, and tired. We quit for the day and went in to cool off. This morning we attacked vines again. The sheep helped. It goes like this; Chop vines off at the ground, pull. Find a vine that is not chopped, slash it with machete, pull with both hands, lean weight into it. Find another vine, sheep is standing on machete handle, eating vines. Push sheep out of way, pick up machete, slash vine. Drop machete, pull. Leaves rain down, sheep scramble to be the first to eat them. Pull. Pull hard, heeerrrreeee they come! Vines fall to ground, sheep run to them, get tangled while I am trying to pull them to the pile.

We made a truck load and dumped it at the burn pile. It was starting to sprinkle ahead of the rain predicted for today, so we went in.
Lay landscape cloth over the area and spread a 2-inch mulch layer over the surface, for example wood chips. Place briar stems and roots in the garbage and sterilize the pruning shears before using them on other plants.
 

baymule

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Lay landscape cloth over the area and spread a 2-inch mulch layer over the surface, for example wood chips. Place briar stems and roots in the garbage and sterilize the pruning shears before using them on other plants.
We piled the briars up and burned them. Better than weed cloth, we have sheep, they ate down the sprouts and have killed most of the briars. Weed cloth would have been an unworkable solution to green briars. Pruning shears? Nope. We used machetes.
 

flowerbug

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My husband would love a back hoe or some big man toy.. But, you are right. It would just sit there after the novelty wore off.
there wouldn't likely be anything left of the yard or the house other than perhaps the central fireplace...
 

Just-Moxie

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I had never heard of them till 2010, when we got the property in SC. Hateful HATEFUL things they are. And the roots, almost impossible to dig out of the ground.
 

majorcatfish

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landscaping cloth......... :lol: :lol: :lol: thats a hoot about the only thing that kills it is spraying it with diesel...

have never found a herbicide that works not even that homemade weed killer...
 

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