History of multiflora rose from the Missouri Department of Conservation website:
“Multiflora rose was originally introduced to the East Coast from Japan in 1886 as rootstock for cultivated roses. In the 1930s the U.S. Soil Conservation Service advocated use of multiflora rose in soil erosion control. Experimental plantings were conducted in Missouri and Illinois, and as recently as the late 1960s, many state conservation departments were distributing rooted cuttings to landowners. It was planted in the Midwest for living fences and soil conservation. Managers recognized that plantings of this thorny, bushy shrub provided excellent escape cover and a source of winter food for wildlife. The species soon spread and became a serious invader of agricultural lands, pastures, and natural communities from the Midwest to the East Coast.”
The trunk can be as wide as 8 inches diameter and the bush can exceed 15 feet. They are extremely hard to control and viciously difficult to handle because of the length of canes and that they are covered with thorns. Millions of dollars are spent in time in mechanical and chemical control of these government-introduced, non-native, invasive shrubs.