The Best Way to Remove Pricker Bushes

Bushes with thorns are more challenging to remove.
Bushes with thorns are more challenging to remove. (Image: Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Pricker bushes have thorns or other pointed parts that can get stuck on your clothes or even slice your skin. During a project to permanently remove or transfer these barbed bushes, protect your skin and eyes from the prickly, sharp edges.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeved work shirt
  • Full-length work pants
  • Sturdy boots
  • Work gloves
  • Hard hat
  • Safety goggles
  • Heavy twine
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Fresh dirt

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Put on a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Work clothes made of thick materials are best when removing pricker bushes. Also, wear protective work boots.

Wear heavy-duty work gloves. Test the gloves to make sure the leaves or thorns of the pricker bushes cannot slice through the material to your skin.

Protect your face and head with a hard hat and safety goggles.

Lift carefully the branches of the pricker bush, and bundle them together. Secure the bundle of branches by wrapping heavy twine around it from bottom to top. This is the best way to confine the pricker bush for easier removal.

Dig with a shovel around the bush. Remove the top layer of soil, until you can see the root system, which will guide the rest of your digging.

Use a shovel to dig a 9- to 14-inch-deep trench around the diameter of the bush. Dig the trench about 12 to 18 inches away from the bush to eliminate most of the root system.

Slice through the exposed roots with a sharp spade.

Push the shovel underneath the root system, and start prying up the bush. You may have to slice through more stubborn roots with the spade. Continue prying until you can lift up the entire bush and remove it from the ground. Use caution around the plant's sharp edges.

Fill the hole left by the bush with new soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your skin gets cut by the pricker bush, clean the wound using rubbing alcohol, apply anti-bacterial ointment and cover with a bandage to prevent infection.


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