Eradication Techniques -


3 Ways to Control Japanese Barberry and Lyme disease

Method 1

Tools you can use to mechanically remove barberry


garden shears
Garden shears
Large Pick
drum chopper
Drum Chopper
  brush cutter
Brush Cutter


Gloves and long sleeved garment required, face protection recommended. Depending on the area you need to clear, mechanical cutting may be the best solution.


Keep in mind that you will have to make a second pass over the area as the roots will quickly send up stalks to replace those that were cut. If you keep cutting these shoots, the roots will eventually starve.


If you choose to remove the roots in addition to the brush, you can use a pick to get under the roots since they are largely horizontal.torch




Method 2 - Brush burning

Another method includes burning the bush and or its root with a propane torch. There is a device made for just that purpose, a propane torch weed killer which you can find at


If you have cut the barberry brush, you can put the torch on the roots until they glow red orange. They won’t come back. You could also burn the entire plant, instead of cutting it first, depending on your time and your budget.

                                                                                                                                                              Propane torch system



herbicide applicatorMethod 3 - Herbicides

A third alternative is to use an herbicide. You can mechanically cut the stalks and then paint the cut ends with Round Up. Some practitioners put vegetable coloring in the herbicide so it’s easier to tell which areas have been covered.


Or you can spray Round Up on the leaves of the bush and wait 2 weeks for the bush to die. But you still have the dead stalks of the bush with all their thorns taking up space where a native species could grow. So you still have to address removing the bush and its roots.                                                                                    Herbicide Applicator


Herbicides Consideration (also available in PDF)


Plan what is best for your site and your budget.


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