The word “puckerbrush” usually describes an area of land that is mostly composed of scrub-brush. Often land formerly used in farming, left neglected, becomes a thriving place for invasive species such as poison ivy, sumac, and buckthorn.
A second meaning of the word describes any incidence when a person is lost, or away from their normal understanding. It can describe a real, or imagined place. [For example, “He is out in the puckerbrush.”]
The “One Look Dictionary” calls it “colloquial speech of Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada.” However, this term was used in the manner described above in Maine, New Hampshire, and probably other locations in New England. Whether New Englanders brought the word to Canada, or vice versa, is unknown.
Apparently this term is still used in Maine, as a hunting and fishing guide service in Machias ME calls itself the “Puckerbrush Guide Service.” Puckerbrush Press, and the Puckerbrush Review, were both born in Maine.
You can find the term in literature. In “Tales of a Vanishing River,” Earl Howell Reed describes a character he calls, “Puckerbrush Bill.” A possible explanation is that although Earl was born and raised in Illinois, his mother was from Maine and possibly taught him the word.
[Editor’s note: this post was updated 26 October 2014]