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Bramble Bush

A bramble is any rough, tangled, prickly shrub, usually in the genus Rubus, which grows blackberries, raspberries, or dewberries.[1] "Bramble" is also used to describe other prickly shrubs, such as roses (Rosa species).[1] The fruits include blackberries, arctic brambleberries, or raspberries, depending on the species, and are used to make jellies, jams, and preserves.[2][3]

bramble bush


In British English, bramble usually refers to the common blackberry, Rubus fruticosus. R. fruticosus grows abundantly in all parts of the British Isles, and harvesting the fruits in late summer and autumn is often considered a favourite pastime. An especially hardy plant, bramble bushes can also become a nuisance in gardens, sending down strong suckering roots amongst hedges and shrubs and being particularly resilient against pruning. Many consider R. fruticosus a weed due its tendency to grow in neglected areas and its sharp, tough thorns, which can be hazardous to children and pets.[4]

Bramble bushes have long, thorny, arching shoots and root easily.[5] They send up long, arching canes that typically do not flower or set fruit until the second year of growth; some varieties, known as everbearing or primocane bearing produce fruit on the tips of first-year canes.[6] Brambles usually have trifoliate or palmately-compound leaves.

Split bramble stems are traditionally used as binding material for straw in production of lip-work basketry, such as lip-work chairs and bee skeps and sometimes used to protect other fruits such as strawberries.

R. fruticosus is difficult to eradicate once it has become established. Early action by pulling with a gloved hand and digging young seedlings as soon as they are seen will save a lot of hard work later. A thick mulch of chipped bark or compost will also make it much easier to pull out recently germinated seeds in the spring. Light but established infestations in friable, workable soils may be removed by cutting back the stems to about 300 millimetres (1 foot) above the ground, to leave a handle, and forking out the bramble stump with as much of the root as possible. Anything left below ground may regenerate.

Heavy infestations may make the land completely impenetrable and will require cutting first just to access the stems. The root systems will also be so pervasive that removing them would require digging up the entire area; doing this in woodland areas will cause unacceptable damage to the surface roots of trees and to flowering bulbs and should be avoided. In this case, chemical control using a selective weedkiller such as triclopyr to wet the photosynthesising bramble leaves is very effective if applied in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. However, a heavily infested area of uncut brambles will require an inordinate amount of poison to wet the leaves; it is far cheaper, and more effective, to cut the area as close to ground level as possible in the spring, clear the debris into piles to reveal the ground surface and to accurately spot spray[10] the shoots that will emerge two to three weeks later as soon as they have a small amount of new foliage. This will kill the plant back into its root system using a small fraction of the poison required to spray whole bushes. The area may first be cleared using a tractor-mounted rotary mower, motorised string trimmer or with a scythe. A short-bladed 600 mm (24-inch) scythe in good hands can be faster than using a string trimmer, leaves a neater cut close to the ground, avoids collateral damage to other plants that are desirable to keep, and deposits the cut debris aligned in swathes that are easier to remove and stack. The area must be cut and cleared at some point anyway and it is easier to clear the debris while green and flexible than dead and dry, so clearing when green then spraying a little is more efficient than spraying a lot then clearing when dry.[11]

An organic, long-term approach involves utilising the pioneering[13] properties of the plant. The brambles are used to protect young trees from grazers and when the trees grow up, they permanently out-shade the blackberry patches; blackberries cannot abide deep shade.[14][15]

Plants bearing thorns, brambles, spines, or prickles are often used as a defence against burglary, being strategically planted below windows or around the entire perimeter of a property.[16] They also have been used to protect crops and livestock against marauding animals. Examples include hawthorn hedges in Europe, Agaves in the Americas and in other countries where they have been introduced, Osage Orange in the prairie states of the US, and Sansevieria in Africa.[17]

The most well-known brambles are raspberries and blackberries, but there are numerous varieties of these as well as other types of brambles. Many bramble bushes often grow wild in certain areas but are also cultivated for the berries. In addition to raspberries and blackberries, dewberries, boysenberries, and loganberries are also brambles.

What makes a plant a bramble is the presence of thorns, usually edible fruit, and belonging to the Rubus genus. Other characteristics of these plants include perennial crowns and roots and biennial canes, on which the fruit grows. Brambles may be very shrubby, have distinct canes, or grow trailing vines.

Growing brambles in the home garden is easy, especially in their native range in the northeastern U.S. Brambles need a lot of sunlight but some protection from wind and cold. They need slightly acidic, well-drained soil and will not tolerate soggy roots. Wild brambles may carry pests and diseases that infect cultivated varieties, so choose a planting location well away from any wild plants.

Not to be confused with: wild raspberry (Rubus idaeus) which also produces fruits made up of many tiny individual fruits or drupelets. They can all be a similar colour at certain times and ripen at similar times of the year. There are some differences to help identification. When a ripe raspberry is picked it is red and there is a hollow within the fruit. When a ripe blackberry is picked it is black and the soft white core remains inside the fruit. Dewberry (Rubus caesius) resembles bramble but tends to have fewer, larger individual fruits. Their fruit surface is waxy rather than shiny and their stems tend to scramble along the ground rather than being tall and arching.

During 1864 and 1865, confederate and Union Troops vied for control of the White River Valley and the land along the Buffalo River. This area saw much action between the men of the blue and the men of the gray. Even though no actual full-scale battles were fought in this area many skirmishes took place here. By this time in the war, tempers were short, food was scarce, and the confederate clothing was wearing thin. March 13-26, 1864 Scouts from the 2nd> Arkansas Cavalry were sent from Yellville to the Buffalo River. March 19, 1864, Captain Turner and his men returned to Yellville and reported to have captured 22 bushwhackers, the killing of 10, the capture of 22 stands of arms, and 28 horses and mules. March 24, 1894, Captain turner [U] and 105 men marched south form Yellville. Twenty-five miles south of Yellville on the Buffalo River, they encountered a small rebel band under the command of Captain Love. A skirmish followed in which 3 rebels were killed and a number of horses and mules captured. March 25,1864, Constant scouting and skirmishing with guerrillas and the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry was reported. April 23, 1864, Captain Turner, 6th Missouri State Militia [U] arrived in Yellville from a reconnaissance on Richland Creek, which took place on 13 April 1864. An attack on the rebels resulted in Captain Watkins and 4 others being killed. May 19, 1864, Lt. Col. Hugh Cameron, Commander of Company M of the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry crossed Tomahawk about noon and arrived in Yellville at sundown, taking John burns, Robert Smith and Elisha Estes prisoners. During the night John Burns escaped. Later Smith and Estes were released. August 23, 26 of 1864, A scout from Ozark Missouri to Dubuque Crossing and Sugar Loaf Prairie detached from the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry. During the course of the war over six thousand Union Troops came from the south through Marion County. Among these were William Martin Adams, brother of Jesse Adams and John Smith. They stopped at Sarah Adams cabin near Freck. She was frightened because she did not recognize her own brother- in- law. Many of these troops were left behind to either guard against rebel attacks or to escort those who wished, to travel into Missouri. April 1865 was the beginning of the end of the war. On April 1, Lee's right broke in the Battle of Five Forks, outside Petersburg. On April 2, Grant's troops drove Lee's men from their Petersburg works. The Confederate Government left their exposed capital in Richmond Virginia. During the night, Lee led his army west. On April 4th, President Abraham Lincoln paid a visit to the now Union occupied Richmond. April 6th, the last major clash in Virginia with a Union victory took place at Sayler's Creek. April 7th, by written request, Grant asked Lee to surrender his army. April 9th, Union forces blocked the passage of Lee's weakened army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Lee met with Grant and surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. On April 11th 1865, President Lincoln spoke in Washington, he predicted trying post-war times. April 12th, under attack since March 25, Mobile, Alabama fell to the Federals. April 14, 1865: President Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Mr. Lincoln was carried to a nearby home, where he died on the 15th of April. Andrew Johnson became the new President. On April 18th Johnston and Sherman signed a peace agreement in North Carolina. April 19th, 1865 after the funeral service at the White House, President Lincoln's body lay in state in the Capitol. On the 21st, a train bearing his body begins a two-week trip to Illinois. April 24th, Sherman [U] was told that the peace terms he gave to Johnston [C] were invalid. April 26th, upon accepting terms like those offered to Lee, [C] Johnston [C] surrendered to Sherman [U] near Durham Station, North Carolina. In Virginia, John Wilkes Booth was killed by Union Troops. April 28th, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, in flight with his cabinet since the fall of Richmond, is in South Carolina. His treasury secretary resigned. May 11, 1865, General M. Jeff Thompson signed an agreement at Chalk Bluff, Arkansas, arranging the surrender of Confederate forces in northeast Arkansas. They later turned themselves in at Wittsburg and Jacksonport. All Confederate forces remaining west of the Mississippi River were surrendered at New Orleans on May 26th. Under the best of circumstances, the Ozarks region should have been ignored by both sides. But it was not, for the Civil War was above all else a political war. Both Union and Confederacy lay claim to the Ozarks. Making the presence of enemy forces unavoidable, yet acceptable. The Northern goal was pacification, a restoration of law and order, and the re-establishment of loyalty to the Union. Although most Ozarkians probably preferred neutrality, when forced to choose most sided with eh Union despite their Southern antecedents. Confederate objectives included the expulsion of a "foreign" invader, and the disruption of enemy operations. Revenge, for either real of imaginary atrocities, soon joined the list of motivations for both sides. Had the achievement of these goals been entrusted to well-trained, discipline troops led by responsible leadership the war in the Ozarks might have gone much the same as in Tennessee and other parts of the south. Due to the isolation and poor communications due to the rugged terrain, limited manpower and the shortsightedness of the authorities in Richmond and Washington, the struggle for the Ozarks became a reality. Caught in the middle were thousands of families, who increasingly were forced to make decisions based on pure survival. In most of these instances were women trying desperately to maintain a home a family while the husband was away fighting. These women faced acute crisis every time soldiers approached her home. White rape, looting, and murder occurred in the Ozarks; the most common response of either Union or Confederate guerrillas toward civilians suspected of supporting the enemy was to bum them out. Lacking men and material, Southern commanders west of the Mississippi took full advantage of Confederate laws authorizing independent companies of partisan rangers. Although the rangers were required to report regularly, most seldom did and the Ozarks swarmed with bands of men whose allegiance to the South varied from sincere to conditional. During 1865 warfare was carried on against the small bands of guerrillas who infested northwestern Arkansas, and many were killed. The news of the surrender of General Kirby Smith, then commanding the Trans-Mississippi department of Confederate States was not received in Northern Arkansas until about the 1 of July 1865 after which quite was mainly restored; and on the 23rd of August the 1st Arkansas Cavalry was mustered out of service. Yellville, Arkansas located in Marion County was considered a recruitment center during the War Between the States. Held by both Confederate and FederaI troops, small community was pulled in both directions during the war years. Nearly every building in the town was burned during the conflict. Yellville was burned four different times. At one such time 13 houses were set fire at once. Sources Used: Civil War in the Ozarks by Steel and Cottrell; Civil War Curiosities by Garrison; Tomahawk Tales by Herrington; Portraits of Conflict by Roberts and Moneylion; History of Boone County; History of Carroll County; History of Baxter County by Messick; Marion County History by Berry; Borderland rebellion by Ingenthron; Turnbo Tales by S.C Turnbo; White River Chronicles by Morrow and Keefe; Encyclopedia of History of Missouri, Vol VI pg 463; New York Herald, July 31, 1861; Impression of the War Years by John P. Morrow; Early Days of Yellville Arkansas by Estes; History of Arkansas by J. H. Shinn 1923; 7th, 14th and 27th Arkansas Cavalry by Desmond Allen; Dowds Company State Troops by Bryan R. Howerton; War of the rebellion - Records of Union and Confederate Armies Series, I, Vol XXII and 2; Taney County Time 3 Sept 1891; Civil War Dictionary by Mark M. Boatner III. . 041b061a72


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