Why is it a threat?
An extremely prolific plant, multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) invades and damages pastures and unplowed lands, crowding out vegetation and creating dense, impenetrable thickets. Cattle are often reluctant to enter fields dominated by multiflora rose; its hedges cause lower crop yields on adjacent fields by competing for nutrients.
How did it get here?
Multiflora rose was introduced to the U.S. from Japan in 1886 as an under-stock for ornamental roses.
How does it spread?
Birds are responsible for spreading the seeds, which remain viable for a number of years. In the 1930s, the Soil Conservation Services advocated the use of multiflora rose for erosion projects and as a way to confine livestock. Hedges of multiflora rose have also been used as a crash barrier and to reduce headlight glare in highway medians.
How can you remove it?
Careful application of herbicide is the most effective means of eradication. Mowing can help keep larger infestations under control, but it will not completely solve the problem.
What can you plant instead?
A rose native to your region is a good alternative. Consult your local nursery.