En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Invasive, non-native Cherokee rose in Elgin TX

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

Drooping leaves on iris in Phenix City, AL
May 02, 2009 - I had a bed FULL of iris rhizomes so I thinned them out and made two beds. They flowered perfectly but some of the flower stalks and some of the leaves began drooping over. The flowering is over. The ...
view the full question and answer

Planting onions in Michigan
July 30, 2009 - Hello, I live in Mi in zone 5. Can I plant green onions now (7/30/09)? And will they have enough time to have for an October-ish harvast? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Non-native lilacs for Salt Lake City, UT
April 15, 2012 - Is the weather in Salt Lake City UT good enough to plant a lilac bush root? If not, how long should I wait?
view the full question and answer

Non-native fig problems in Austin, TX.
July 02, 2014 - We have a large fig tree in our yard. It has been healthy since we bought the house in 2006. But in the last week or so, the leaves have turned yellow and have wilted. It is full of fruit. I'm afraid...
view the full question and answer

Native climbing rose for Austin
April 25, 2010 - Is there such a thing as a native climbing rose that would do well in Austin?
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