Wildlife, Animals, and Plants
VALUE AND USE
SPECIES: Rubus discolor | Himalayan Blackberry
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE :
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE :
Wildlife: The Himalayan blackberry provides food and cover for many
wildlife species. Fruits of blackberries are eaten by numerous birds,
including the northern bobwhite, scaled quail, ruffed grouse,
sharp-tailed grouse, California quail, ring-necked pheasant, blue
grouse, gray (Hungarian) partridge, band-tailed pigeon, gray catbird,
northern cardinal, American robin, yellow-breasted chat, pine grosbeak,
summer tanager, orchard oriole, brown thrasher, thrushes, and towhees
[1,30,33]. Mammals such, as the coyote, common opossum, red squirrel,
raccoon, gray fox, red fox, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, and black
bear, also feed on blackberries [30,33].
Deer, rabbits, and mountain beaver consume the buds, stems, and leaves
of blackberries [30,33]. The Himalayan blackberry is considered a
primary elk browse in parts of California, where it is used primarily
during the winter months . Porcupines and beaver feed on the
cambium, buds, and stems of many species of blackberries .
Livestock: Blackberries, in general, provide only poor browse for
domestic livestock . However, the specific value of Himalayan
blackberry has not been documented. In some areas, this shrub may
represent a barrier to the movement of livestock. Domestic sheep
occasionally become entangled in the spiny foliage of this sprawling
Fruits of blackberries are highly palatable to many birds and mammals.
Palatability of Himalayan blackberry browse has not been determined.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE :
COVER VALUE :
Dense blackberry thickets form suitable nesting sites for many species
of birds . Mammals, such as rabbits, red squirrel, black bear, and
beaver, use blackberry thickets as hiding or resting sites .
VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES :
Most blackberries are valuable for preventing soil erosion on barren,
infertile, disturbed sites [3,30]. The Himalayan blackberry has been
successfully planted in riparian areas along Columbia River impoundments
in north-central Washington . Good survival was observed up to 5
years after the initial plantings were made .
Blackberries may be propagated vegetatively, transplanted, or seeded
onto disturbed sites. According to Brinkman , seed which has been
scarified can be successfully planted in the late summer or early fall.
Seed planted in the fall does not require cold treatment. Previously
stratified and scarified seed can be planted in the spring. Good
results have been obtained after seeds were planted with a drill and
covered with 1/8 to 3/16 inch (0.3-0.5 cm) of soil .
OTHER USES AND VALUES :
Himalayan blackberry is the most commonly harvested wild blackberry in
western Washington and Oregon, although its fruit is reportedly less
flavorful than that of the native trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus)
. It is a preferred berry for fruit pies . The fruit, roots, and
stems of blackberries have been used to make various medicinal
preparations . Many blackberries are grown in gardens or as
ornamentals. Himalayan blackberry was first cultivated in 1890 .
MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :
Competition: The introduced Himalayan blackberry has spread
aggressively in many parts of the United States. It is now regarded as
a serious pest in parts of the Pacific Northwest, particularly west of
the Cascades .
Chemical control: Good to excellent control of the Himalayan blackberry
can be obtained through the use of glyphosate, picloram + 2,4-D,
triclopyr ester, or triclopyr amine .
Related categories for Species: Rubus discolor
| Himalayan Blackberry