Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Field Edge Rose Clearing

I’ve been working on eliminating Multiflora Rose from the field edges and have finally reached the point where the majority of visible plants are natives. I’ll never see the end of the roses, but I’m dealing with smaller plants each year. Eventually, it’ll just be a matter of eliminating new seedlings.

The depression running through the center of this wooded strip drains water from the top of the hill. This is not a natural drainage course. Its line follows the route of an old fence row. The most likely cause for its formation is the movement of cattle along the fence line creating a trail that the water could follow. Erosion took care of the rest and created quite a ditch before establishment of vegetation could halt the damage. The loss of trees in this area, evident by the number of fallen trunks, is probably also a result of soil compaction and root damage caused by cattle. The negative effects of cattle in the woods can often be seen for decades after the removal of the cattle.

Areas once choked with Multiflora Rose are now open. This makes a far nicer vision, but things are still far from being great.

There are still a few seedling roses to deal with and I continue to spray these little guys. The problem is with the plant that is now trying to take over the area once occupied by the roses. Most of that other growth is Japanese Honeysuckle. I was expecting the honeysuckle and have a plan to deal with it. Honeysuckle treatment is a fall activity, so I’ll wait until November to deal with it.

The area is going to remain as a shaded habitat with a mixed canopy of trees and shrubs. There are some massive cedars in the mix that will be left in place, but I may remove some of the smaller specimens. I probably won’t make my final decision on that until I’ve eliminated all of the invasives and evaluated what I have left.

This project has already stretched over several years. The changes made in any one year have been minor, but the cumulative effects have been great. Some people might look at this scene and see nothing but dead trees and misshapen shrubs. I can look at it and feel a sense of accomplishment, because disastrous as it may appear, it’s progressing along the course I planned and my vision of its final destination is truly wondrous.


  1. I appreciate your hard work, years ago we cleaned up the perimeter around our field and a large area surrounding our home. Some areas of multiflora rose were over ten feet high, there's still plenty for the Cardinals to enjoy though.

  2. Hi Steve...your going to make me ask aren't you.
    Do you have a Wood Chuck~Ground Hog, or what in the devil is that pile of dirt?????
    Multiflora Rose, lovely stuff, It has a mighty constitution, and is quite prevalent around here in places!!
    Good luck with that~~ hahaha

  3. Hi, Wanda. I've run out of the ten foot tall roses. I hope to soon run out of the medium sizes.

    Hi, Grammie g. That dirt is just one of our little ant hills. I would feel sorry for any groundhog that tried to dig into that.

  4. Massive undertaking, Steve. I like your plan for the honeysuckle - "later". ;-)

  5. Hi, Wilma. I also have a list of projects that I will do "much later" and another list that I call "let's not even pretend I'll ever get to that".

  6. Hey Steve, I want to reclaim a few honeysuckle spots myself.Exactly what do you do about them?I always just sawed them off at ground level and kept cutting the new shoots!

  7. Michael - I cut bush honeysuckle off at the ground and later spray the sprouts with glyphosate herbicide. I spray Japanese Honeysuckle with glyphosate in late fall when nothing else is growing. I've had good success with both of these methods.