February 2014

Multiflora rose is a thorny perennial shrub that can reach sizes of 10 feet high and 15 feet wide, with arching stems and leaves that are divided into five to 11 sharp-toothed leaflets. It produces showy, white to pink flowers from May until June. Multiflora rose is extremely prolific, reproducing from root sprouts, seeds and rooting from the tips of arching stems that contact the ground. Each plant is capable of producing a million seeds a year, which can remain viable in the soil for up to 20 years.

The shrub is native to Japan, and in 1866 it was brought to the United States, where it has spread rapidly. Multiflora rose is commonly found along rights-of-way, pastures, fencerows, forests, park and recreation areas, and many other sites.

Complete eradication of multiflora rose is very difficult. The older the rose, the more difficult control is. And the longer it has been on a site, the greater the number of seeds present on the site. For these reasons, no single treatment will provide complete control, so annual follow-up treatments are generally required for two or more years.

Follow these herbicide recommendations.
Where plants are sparse, a low-volume basal bark application is a good option for treatment. Apply a mix of Milestone® specialty herbicide at 1 percent, with Garlon® 4 Ultra specialty herbicide, mixed at 20 to 25 percent v/v in basal oil. Treat the stem by applying the spray solution to the bottom 12 to 15 inches of bark down to the groundline around the entire stem. Treat until the bark is wet but not to the point of runoff. Make a stable tank mixture for basal bark application by first combining each product with a compatibility agent prior to final mixing in the desired ratio. Mix Milestone and Garlon 4 Ultra thoroughly with basal oil; if the mixture stands for more than 30 minutes, reagitation may be required. Do not store the final mixture.

Another good option is a cut-surface treatment using Capstone® specialty herbicide undiluted or Garlon 3A specialty herbicide mixed with 50 percent water. Treat the stump with the herbicide solution immediately after cutting. The cambium next to the bark is the most important area to wet with the solution.

For more information and to get additional treatment recommendations, you can check out the multiflora rose fact sheet.