Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Garden and Outdoor Center > Gardening and Horticulture
Reload this Page >

Forensic analysis uprooting of 50 year old rose bush

Forensic analysis uprooting of 50 year old rose bush

Old 08-27-16, 07:25 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 118
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Forensic analysis uprooting of 50 year old rose bush

I am somewhat of an absentee landlord but I have good but busy tenants. It seems the gardener uprooted and stole 2 50 year old rush bushes from the property garden thinking it would go unnoticed. How deep should roots be for a rose plant that old? I seems everything was cleanly removed. This was not someone just liking some flowers and cutting some stems off nor aggressive pruning. The BS explanation I got was it died but the garden is luscious green. Moreover, the tenant said one week despite blooming the gardener trimmed it almost to its base, then the following week the base disappeared. This is not the first time something went missing either but I excused it last time. IMO he stole it and I dont plan to tolerate it. What additional details should I looks for and confront the guy with? Dont knock the request for help. Its a matter of principle and the plants have high sentimental value to me.
Old 08-28-16, 03:10 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,684
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
Without an eye witness to verify he did steal the plants, I don't think there is much you can do other than get a new gardener!
Old 08-28-16, 04:16 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 27,770
Received 2,183 Upvotes on 1,953 Posts
At the coast where my parents live plant theft is common. Especially for freshly planted palm trees. So, I can say that plant theft does exist but I find it hard to believe it's worth the trouble of digging up such an old plant.

Also consider that 50 is very old for a rose bush. I've heard that 35 years is the average. Some fancy modern hybrids may only live to be 10 while some heirloom tea varieties might make it to 100. Even though the rest of the garden may be doing well those plants possibly/probably died of old age. Nothing lives forever.
Old 08-28-16, 04:28 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,965
Received 725 Upvotes on 641 Posts
However, feeling the way you do I would relieve the gardener of his duties and put up security cams.
Old 08-28-16, 07:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 118
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
What can I do forensically to look for evidence? Dig up the hole and look for roots? If no roots exist the bush was stolen. If some roots exist (and as you said it should spread far given the age of the plant) then it was not stolen? The very thick base of the plant (i think called the trunk) protruding from the soil is definitely gone. BTW the rose plants are spread about 20 feet apart. Several mini rose plants also gone. The gardener ignores weeds but he is worried about dead plants enough to remove roots cleanly? Huge contradiction. Moreover, he is a lawn care person in an urban environment not a real gardener IMO. It unusual for him to care about the plants nor does anyone expect him to deal with the plants. This guy had a prior history of theft -- a tree. I let him off the hook on that several years ago.
Old 08-28-16, 08:22 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,756
Received 258 Upvotes on 206 Posts
I feel for you.

I don't know that I can offer any relevant info for your specific question. However, I hope that I can offer some side notes that will assist you in general.

1st, I hope that you can get some solid answers from members here to help you get the answers you need. In the event that you need further answers/help......

Here in Louisiana, fortunately we have LSU, (Louisiana State University) that offers extensive agriculture programs, including horticulture. Because LSU is a large university, there are satellite facilities all over the state. We have access to a campus not far from here. (As well, La Tech also offers these programs)

If you have such services nearby you, I'd contact their horticulture department & see if they (professor) have/has a student who may want to do some research on this for you forensically for class credits etc. The student would certainly be able to give you at minimum.... some.... advice & assistance. (It would normally be free of charge although tipping him a few bucks for gas etc would be appropriate)

Hope this helps...... good luck.
Old 08-29-16, 09:26 PM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 447
Received 32 Upvotes on 23 Posts
It's a little hard to advise, because it's unclear to me whether you're looking for advise on dealing with a crummy gardener, or for advise on how to respond to a potential crime.

What kind of resolution are you hoping for this? If you're looking at criminal charges, then call the police and let them investigate. Any further action on your part, whether it be digging around the plant looking for roots, or further questioning the guy about his story, will only hinder the criminal investigation.

If you just want to confront the guy, then do so. It sounds like you have enough doubt as to the validity of his story, and you find him to be a dubious character.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: