Greenbriar or Catbrier is one of the first plants to germinate after clearing an area of brush. It also can be found climbing trees and commonly wraps around ones feet and causes some not so pleasant cuts to the lower legs. For years I went about eradicating it at every opportunity. How on earth could this gnarly plant be beneficial?
Well believe it or not, greenbrier is a highly sought after form of nutrition for deer, song birds and rabbits. To test this idea, clear our an area of brush and give it several weeks to start filling in. New shoots of greenbrier will emerge and look at the tips. You will notice they are not green and have a rough edge due to the browsing of deer.
So before you go clearing all the greenbrier out, take a second to think about where it fits in your wildlife plan. Sometimes we spend hundreds of dollars to feed deer when we simply can enhance what we have. And yes the ugly and painful greenbrier is worth keeping around.