Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg species)

Weed control program

Section 371 (1) b of the Biosecurity Act 2015

This Weed Control Program is a Council endorsed document under Section 371 (1) (b) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 and describes how a person must discharge the person’s general biosecurity duty for the biosecurity matter (weed) described.

Plant species

Common name: Blackberry
Scientific name: Rubus fruticosus agg species
Exempt varieties: Chester thornless, Dirksen thornless, Loch ness, Silvan, Black satin, Murrindindi, Smooth stem, Thornfree, Chehalem.

Area of operation

Local government area of Eurobodalla Shire.

Species information

Blackberries are perennial, semi-deciduous, scrambling shrubs with tangled, prickly stems that form impenetrable thickets several metres high. The root system is the perennial part of the plant. It comprises a woody crown that can grow up to 20 cm wide with a main root that can grow to a depth of 4 m. Secondary roots grow horizontally from the crown for 30-60 cm, then grow down and shoot thin roots in all directions.

Blackberry is mostly restricted to areas with temperate climates (warm summers, cool winters) with an annual rainfall of at least 700 mm (regardless of altitude), but plants can grow in lower rainfall areas when other environmental conditions are favourable (such as along the banks of watercourses.

All blackberries can reproduce both vegetatively and by seed. At the end of the blackberry season, there may be up to 13,000 seeds/m2 under a blackberry bush. Where the tips of the canes touch the ground, roots may sprout in autumn and become new plants. Blackberries can also produce sucker plants and can reproduce from root fragments and other plant parts, as such, mowing and slashing can greatly exacerbate the problem, creating hundreds of new plants across a paddock.

Legal obligations

Any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier and who knows, or ought reasonably to know, the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised.

Weed risk assessment

Risk level: Medium
Impacts: Economy
Control objective: Asset protection

Council control requirements

  1. Destroy all plants, or if that is not practicable, destroy as many plants as is practicable and stop the spread of any remaining plants from the property.
  2. The landholder must prevent spread from their land to high priority sites.
  3. Slashing is not a control method.
  4. Blackberry must not be grown for commercial trade or for personal use.
  5. The plant must not be propagated or distributed.


A person who fails to discharge the person’s general biosecurity duty is guilty of an offence.

In the event that the general biosecurity duty is not discharged, Council may:

  • charge a reinspection fee
  • issue a fine notice (refer to Biosecurity Regulation 2017 (NSW) Schedule 6 - Penalty notice offences)
  • enter the property, perform weed direction works, and recoup all costs and expenses incurred.

Review date

When required.

Contact details

Invasive Species Supervisor - Biosecurity Act 2015 Authorised Officer
PO Box 99
Moruya NSW 2537

T: 02 4474 1000