Monday, January 9, 2012

Stalking Roses

Running out in divergent courses from the former Multiflora Rose thicket are a fence row and a small creek.  Both of these are grown up in trees and are favorite travel corridors for the local songbirds.  Over the years, birds feeding on rose fruit in the thicket have dropped rose seed the length of both lines of trees.  Now I’ve taken on the task of locating and eliminating these roses.

I’m beginning my assault from the edges of the triangular field contained within the bounds of the tree corridors.  When attacking a rose bush, it’s always a good idea to have a clear line of retreat.

JR is the perfect tool for taking down single rose bushes.  In open situations the rose canes are pushed away from the machine operator before being cut.  This greatly reduces the number of scratches I suffer.  If there’s room to keep moving forward, the bush is chopped enough to lay flat to the ground for rapid decomposition.

In situations where your access is limited to one side of the bush, JR pushes the cut canes forward into a mass.  This mass of roses represents the accumulated growth of seven separate bushes that were consolidated and moved aside.  The flags in the foreground indicate the locations of the rose stumps.  There will be no problem reaching the sprouts when I come back next spring to treat them with glyphosate.  The cut canes dry quickly and will easily crumble to the ground next winter.

Roses that grow in the shade often produce long canes with widely spaced buds.  It’s best to cut these high enough to leave several buds for producing sprouts in the spring.  This insures enough leafy growth to absorb glyphosate and kill the plant.

Many of the roses growing beneath the trees are showing fresh green growth.  This is what I normally expect to find in late March.  I’m sure we’ll have some freezes yet this winter that will put an end to these little sprouts.  I just hope the cycle isn’t so badly messed up that I don’t have a good cluster of sprouts to spray in April.


  1. It makes me laugh how you have a name for your machine. So, your winter has been mild, too?

  2. Hi Katie. I have to call that mower JR so it doesn't get confused with DR. Highs here have been in the 40's and 50's with lows in the 20's. With no snow cover, the gound has been experiencing some major frost heaving. It has been an odd season so far.