Normally a little snow won't hurt the hearty multiflora rose, but a light snowfall can make it easier to target rose bushes and other brushy weeds in pastures and set-aside fields.
Winter weapons against multiflora rose
Dormant season herbicide applications can be effective in eliminating these weeds and a dusting of snow makes it easy to keep track of which bushes have been treated. Your footprints will show where you've been. Snow also makes it easier to find bushes that might hide among tall grasses during the growing season.
Avoid applying herbicides when there is heavy snow though. You won't be able to apply the herbicides where they'll be most effective and a quick thaw could carry the herbicides off site and damage other plants.
One common dormant season control method is basal bark treatment. Banvel (dicamba) or Crossbow (triclopyr and 2,4-D) is mixed with diesel fuel or kerosene, which acts as a carrier and also helps the herbicide penetrate the bark. A hand sprayer is used to apply the mixture to the lowest two feet of the stems and on the plant crowns.
Banvel can also be applied as a spot concentrate using a hand-held spot applicator. A measured dose of herbicide is applied on the ground a few inches from the plant crown.
These applications need to be made after soil temperatures drop below 40 degrees so the herbicide doesn't break down in the soil before the plants take it up. The herbicide can be applied when the ground is frozen as long as snow or ice doesn't make it impossible to place the herbicide on the soil surface.
Another option is scattering Spike (tebuthiuron) pellets on the soil surface above the target plant's root zone. The pellets then dissolve into the soil and the herbicide is taken up by the plant roots.
For all these herbicides, it's important to follow label directions to get good control without damaging other plants.
For more information refer to Ohio State University Extension Bulletin 857, Multiflora Rose Control, available through county extension offices and at www.ohioline.ag.ohio-state.edu
Trade names have been used in this guide for clarity, but they neither constitute an endorsement by the Soil and Water Conservation District nor imply discrimination against other products.
Photo/line art credits"¦..
Photo - James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service
Line art - Missouri Conservation Commission