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How To Get Rid Of Thorn Bushes – A Complete Guide

Thorn Bushes in your garden is an eyesore. They look like perfectly good plants, but it won’t be easy to do anything else in your garden if you let them stay there.

The problem is not just how they look but also the problems they create. They are pesky plants that grow out of nowhere, potentially taking over your garden and your entire life. They can also pose a problem for livestock and wildlife.

There are ways on how to get rid of thorn bushes. You can remove, eliminate and control it by using a variety of methods. This article will give you the necessary steps on how to do so. No matter what, always make sure that you are wearing protection to avoid any injuries.

How To Get Rid Of Thorn Bushes
Thorn Bushes via Wikimedia

How To Get Rid Of Thorn Bushes

1. Weed Killer / Herbicides

The easiest way to get rid of thorn bushes is by using weed killer. This will not only kill the plant but will also prevent its regrowth. There are several weed killers you can use depending on where the bushes are located.

If you have ditches or areas that are hard to reach, choose a weed killer that uses a wick. Most weed killers are also very effective in killing grasses and other weeds and pine trees, blackberry, ivy, and even poison oak.

  • Use a 25% triclopyr or glyphosate herbicide solution.
  • Apply a good dose of any herbicide to the bush with a paintbrush all over the bush.
  • The herbicide is drawn into the roots by the stems, killing the plant completely so you won’t have to deal with new growth in the future.

Note: This is not a good method if you have children and pets around, but this can be very effective since it eliminates the plant and its roots in one go.

2. Cut it using Hoe or an Axe

By using a hoe or an ax, you can cut the plant one inch above the soil. The plant will die during the next few weeks to months. Some thorn bushes can be pulled out manually from the root.

When the soil is wet and the weeds are young, thorn bushes will easily slide out of the ground. You will need a good pair of gloves before doing so because otherwise, your hands will be full of scratches.

3. Mulching

If you want to get rid of thorn bushes without too much effort and damage, mulching is a good option. This method works best because the roots die and decompose naturally, which prevents them from regrowing back.

Make sure that you use weed-free wood chips, brown cardboard, shredded paper / Leaves as mulch because these materials will not contain any weed seeds. You can spread it out evenly by two inches thick.

Mulch is an excellent weed barrier and soil conditioner. It inhibits plant growth beneath it, prevents weeds from germinating, and maintains moisture. Mulch also delivers essential minerals over time as it decomposes while also regulating soil temperatures.

4. Trim the Garden Edges Frequently

By regularly trimming the garden edges, you will be able to control thorn bush growth. The more frequently you cut the edge of your plant, the fewer seeds they can spread.

It is not necessary to remove all of their branches but make sure that you bring your hedge trimmer with you on every trip outside. This will also help prevent new seedlings from growing.

How To Get Rid Of Thorn Bushes 2
Thorn Bushes via Flickr

5. Cover the Plant

The easiest way on how to get rid of thorn bushes is by putting a cover around them. This will stop the plant from growing back but will not kill it right away. If you want, you could put an upside-down plastic bucket or even a large can to cover the plant effectively.

Cover the soil with brown cardboard or dampened newspaper (black ink only). Add 2 inches of straw or compost over that. This prevents weeds from obtaining the light they need to develop.

Because most perennial weeds will not grow through, only a few of them will survive. You’ll also save water and have happy worms and soil.

6. Chop the head off

Even if dealing with weeds is too much of a hassle, at the very least, vow to prevent them from producing seed. Remove their heads once a week using a grass whip or string trimmer after they have bloomed.

7. Aerate the Soil

Weeds, especially those with deep roots, thrive in compacted soil. The plant’s roots aren’t getting the air, water, or nutrients they need, allowing weeds to take over. You’ll be shocked at how often providing annual aeration reduces the number of deep-rooted weeds.

8. Reduce Open Garden Space

You can also reduce the weed problem in your garden by closing-off open areas to prevent them from growing. Plant trees, shrubs, and hedges to provide a dense barrier between you and the thorn bushes.

Plant your plants closer together to reduce weed development. To minimize weed growth, start your warm-weather plants as soon as possible.

9. Minimize Soil Disruption

Weeds will be ready to germinate after soil disruption exposes the dormant seeds to light and air. Weeds may be encouraged to grow by a brief flash of light, which you provide them when you turn the soil over during the day. According to a German study, turning the soil at night might reduce weed germination by 78%.

10. Use Boiling water, Vinegar or Bleach Water

You can also try one of the following remedies: add a sprinkler head to your garden hose and spray it on the bush for at least seven to ten minutes, add some chlorine bleach in your water, use boiling water, or vinegar.


Although doing away with thorn bushes might be incredibly annoying, it is possible to get rid of them. The methods mentioned above should give you a better idea of what you can do to achieve your goal.

It will take some time before you notice any significant change, but once they’re gone, you’ll feel better, and so will your garden. Above all, understanding how to detect the most invasive and harmful weeds is critical for keeping your garden weed-free.