Morfydd St. Clair wrote:Ugh, that sounds like a lot of work and you will have to keep clearing it as both will regrow from the roots left in the ground for a long time.
Quick answer: Rent a goat! (No really, they will clear it nicely. Not sure what they'd do to your apples, though.)
Rose and blackberry brambles shouldn't regrow after being dried. For my much smaller infestation I pull a large barrel's worth, chopped a few inches long, leave it in the barrel for a week or so, then dump it in the compost heap. If anything's sprouting it goes back in the barrel until it dies. It would probably be much better as mulch than compost.
I think the consensus of the forum is that there's no such thing as too much mulch, especially as you're wanting to suppress the roses and blackberries. Also, the smaller it's chopped up, a) the smaller the pile will be and b) the faster it will break down to an even smaller pile. I'd even rent a wood chipper if feasible. If not, IIRC Dale Hodgins uses a machete to whack his piles down smaller.
What's your plan with the land? Do you want to restore the orchard? Grow annuals? Something else?