Hi everyone - we have a lot of bracken invading all the open spaces (our property is isolated, on the edge of woodland) and garden. Don't want to cut or kill off all the saplings etc but the bracken has gone mad again this year. Last year, spent a lot of time pulling them all out by hand, more than once!. I've read they are hard to shift, but need to cut or remove them before they start dying back in autumn and all the goodness returns to the root system, and that this has to be done for 3 or 4 years. Apart from goats (!), anyone with good knowledge of clearing bracken? Many thanks in advance.
Thanks Gerald! More useful info, much appreciated. All best.
If you cut them you need to cut them as soon as they are full height. The principle behind cutting or crushing is that the root system is depleted in producing the new growth and you do not allow the plant to photosynthesize and build up its reserves again. If you do it four years on the row the roots get so depleted that they will only push up tiny, weak fronds in the fifth year that you can just step on to kill them and that should be that apart from the odd one that that reappears now and again. I cannot remember the form with Asulox but the directions would be on the plastic can it comes in. You mix it with spraying oil and use a mist sprayer. Look it up on the interweb to see how they work. They are light, hand held things on an aluminium rod. atb.
I've looked up Azulox now Gerald, thanks again - it is a fern specific product, so everything else should be ok. Seems it might have been banned in 2011/12 in EU though, with certain dispensations for farmers? Will have to do more research and see where I could get some. Might just continue with the cutting/removing in the meantime. Also it seems they only produce spores in hot dry conditions, so I'm guessing if I cut them early June, then again 6 weeks later, and do that for a couple of years, that might do the trick too. If you know where I could source Azulox/Azulam I'd be interested to hear. Many thanks again.
Many thanks Gerald, really appreciate the response. The land is on quite a slope, so can't really get any machinery in, but spraying is a possibility. I didn't want to kill everything off so will look up Azulox - I'm assuming it is specific to ferns? I was wondering when they release spores, as I'm guessing they need to be crushed/topped/removed/sprayed before that. Sounds like it will take a while in any event!
Yes, in Scotland, traditionally they used to roll it to crush the stems when the fronds were just beginning to open. Do this for three years and it will be gone. The root system will give fertility to the land. Alternatively you spray it with Azulox in June (for France) when the the plants are in full leaf and that will knock them and kill them. If the land is flat and accessible you can also top them and they will get weaker and weaker in successive years ; three or four years. If you use Asulox a good way of applying it is with a hand held drift sprayer. (look it up on the internet but it is basically a bottle on a stick with a little electric motor under it that spins around and creates a mist of azulox mixed with a spraying oil which makes the stuff stick to the leaves. ) Hope that helps. Get back to me if there is stuff you don't understand.