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Crap ton of Japanese Barberry...blessing or curse?

 
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So there is a literal ton of Japanese Barberry that has taken over old pasture and some pine forest on our land in central Vermont....what would the best approach be to getting rid of it?!...or using it for that matter. We have tried: Machetes, chainsaws, brush saw and fire. And have made only the slightest of dents.

We are trying to embrace the problem is the solution but haven't come up with a solution yet.

anyone had any success with animals such as pigs or goats?
20160131_145258.jpg
So there is a literal ton of Japanese Barberry
So there is a literal ton of Japanese Barberry
20160131_145057.jpg
some pine forest
some pine forest
20160131_145005.jpg
old pasture
old pasture
 
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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Welcome to permies, Gene!

I've got no experience with this plant, or with goats... but googling 'Japanese Barberry goats' turned up some promising mentions of goats liking Japanese Barberry.

http://www.homehudsonvalley.com/2012/05/goat-mowers/
http://countryfolks.com/having-trouble-with-invasives-try-goats-as-your-extractor/


Didn't find such mentions for pigs, but it was hardly an exhaustive search.
 
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Japanese barberry is one gnarly plant. The thorns are the sharpest of any plant I know.
It is good to know that the plant is highly medicinal. It contains high amounts of berberine which is a natural antibiotic. Many herbalists use barberry now because goldenseal has become so rare. It is the bright yellow inner bark that is used.
I hope no-one reading this thinks it is a good idea to plant barberry. It will definitely spread into the surrounding woods and make walking a lot less fun.
 
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