En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 24, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Invasive, non-native Cherokee rose in Elgin TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We have property in Elgin, TX in Bastrop county which has the red sandydirt-loam. The original owners from the 30's, must have liked the Cherokee rose. The problem is that it is planted around our large tank and is an impenetrable fortress 10 ft wide and 15 ft high around 3/4 of the tank. What is the least poisonous way to get rid of it? We cannot even get close to it with a chain saw to try to cut it out. My husband used Remedy on it in the front of the property and killed it at the site of the old homestead, but I am not a fan of his using poison. It is bad enough he is using it on the mesquite. I don't want to poison the tank because we rent property for cattle. It has probably grown for over 20 or 30 years in this spot and is higher than the cypress trees. In fact, the rose is probably why some of the cypress have died because no sun got to them any more or their roots were choked.

ANSWER:

Rosa laevigata (Cherokee rose), while it is considered an "antique" or "heirloom" rose, it is not a plant native to North America, but to China and Vietnam. We could not agree with you more about the use of herbicides on your property. You must feel like the Prince in Sleeping Beauty, trying to go through a wall of thorns. Herbicides, however, are not the solution. To begin with, you can make a plant the size of a mesquite a little sick, but it probably won't die, and even if it dies, you still need to remove it. Same thing with the roses, they are survivors with deep, well-established roots, and they are not going to go away willingly.

You are going to have to have some help, with equipment, to make your pond accessible and poison-free. We recommend using a tractor-mounted shredder or bush-hog to decapitate the plants to the point where they can get heavy chains around the trunks of the indiviual plants and snatch them out of the ground with the same tractor.  And please, stop with the poisons. You may be contaminating your soil, not to mention the pond water which receives runoff from the soil, killing plants you would like to keep, and it still won't do what you want done.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Italy in Texas
July 02, 2008 - Just want to clear up that I'm not in Italy, VERMONT. I'm in Italy, TEXAS. I don't know how the state slot changed from TX to Vermont, but please, I'm like you, lets just stick to TEXAS !
view the full question and answer

Lilac bush roots dangerous to house foundations
August 06, 2008 - Are lilac bushes dangerous to the foundation of a house? There is a lovely white-blooming lilac that grows against the house outside my bedroom window. My ex-husband said that the roots would destro...
view the full question and answer

Blocking stolons of St. Augustine grass
July 25, 2008 - I have St. Augustine in my yard, and I am sick of edging the stolons that grow onto the sidewalk and driveway. Is there any way to stop the stolons or block them so that I can just mow and throw away ...
view the full question and answer

Cross pollination of non-native poinsettia
December 01, 2008 - I have a poinsettia that I have had for about 5 yrs. that has always flowered red. Last Christmas I was given one that was white. During the summer I put both plants in my green house side by side. Th...
view the full question and answer

Snow damage to non-native Japanese maple in Oakdale NY
December 29, 2009 - My beautiful 10 year old miniature Japanese Maple was damaged by heavy snow this year. Two of the biggest limbs cracked under the weight of the snow and are just barely hanging on. Can I repair them...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center