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Who let the dog (rose) out?

News release
17 January 2019

Proving useful in earlier times for its high Vitamin C content, dog rose (Rosa canina) and sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa) aren’t as relevant in today’s local landscape and have emerged as a serious environmental weed in the South East.

The South East Natural Resources Management Board is encouraging landholders to be on the lookout and take action. Natural Resources Management Officer Michelle Sargent said that although this pest plant can be found across different landscape types, early identification and treatment can contain the spread.

“Dog rose and sweet briar are extremely similar plants and as such we treat the two as ‘wild rose’ with comparable methods of control,” said Michelle.

“There are a few effective methods of controlling wild rose, including manual cut and swab, herbicide spray, and mechanical removal. For younger plants, grazing management on property can also be useful in controlling seedlings, preventing establishment.”

In its native Europe, wild rose is used as a hedge plant, however locally the woody perennial shrub can invade bushland and roadsides, outcompeting native vegetation.

“It’s important to get on top of infestations, especially on roadsides, as not only do wild rose plants displace native vegetation, they also provide shelter for rabbits and foxes which are priority pests in the region,” said Michelle.

Both species are declared weeds under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004, requiring control on property. The South East NRM Board can also recover the cost of controlling roadside pest plants and pest animals from adjoining landholders, however encourages landholders to take action, checking with local council first to ensure compliance for local regulations.

“The PIRSA weed control handbook and app are a great resource to help with identification, and you can always contact an NRMO for targeted information and advice.”

For contact details of your nearest NRM Officer, see the Natural Resources South East website or call 8735 1177.

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Media and Communications Coordinator