Multiflora Falls From Favor
Multiflora rose was first introduced from Japan in 1866 as a rootstock for ornamental roses. Later it was promoted by the U.S. government for erosion control and for use as a living fence. It has also been used as a living snow fence and crash barrier along highways. But multiflora rose creates dense thickets that exclude other plants from growing in fields and along forest edges. Although some birds and other animals eat the fruits, many birds will not eat them. A thicket of multiflora rose offers food and shelter to many fewer animals than a thicket where several different kinds of shrubs grow. Its branches can grow up into surrounding trees adding weight to the branches and making them vulnerable to breaking in storms. Multiflora rose grows across most of the U.S. except in the Rocky Mountains, deserts, and subtropical areas. Now many states that used to promote it consider it a noxious weed and encourage its eradication.