Residents are being urged not to pick or eat blackberries over the next few months, as the Yarra Ranges Council undertakes annual spraying efforts.
The council, including other agencies and private landholders, are obliged to target and limit the spread of blackberries under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
Spraying takes place during the blackberry growth period (November to April) and aims to help limit the spread of the noxious weed.
Blackberries are recognised as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) in Australia due to its high degree of invasiveness, its aggressive spread, and its economic and environmental impacts.
Yarra Ranges Mayor Richard Higgins said the blackberry eradication is a normal and necessary exercise undertaken every year.
“We only have a small window of opportunity to treat the weed to get the best results during its active growth period,” he said.
“The plant then remains dormant for the rest of the year during the cooler months.
“Blackberries are also a threat to our agricultural and natural ecosystems by dominating other crops and native vegetation.
“The spray that’s used is heavily-diluted, with no scientific evidence of impact to animals that eat the berries, but we strongly urge the community not to consume the berries, just to be safe.”
The council’s claimed its priority is to treat blackberries prior to their fruiting season from January-March, however, some spraying will occasionally need to take place while the weed is fruiting, due to its rapid growth across the region.
When spraying does take place, advisory signs will be placed on site.
For any queries into blackberry eradication, contact the council’s bushland team on 1300 368 333.