Monday, June 8, 2015

Roses and Rose Rosette Disease

We are coming off of one of the busiest weekends in recent memory!  It was full but also filling, which makes the stress of trying to jigsaw puzzle everything together a little more palatable.  I'll work on a little synopsis but in the meantime I thought I'd share a few pictures of the beauty, and the heartbreak of roses.

Every single year, I swear that I will get rid of and plant no more roses.  And every year, I see a bloom on a shrub and can't stop myself from believing that this rose will be different and be a survivor.

You see, several years ago an eriophyid mite was carried by the wind into our yard and thus infected several of our rose bushes with Rose Rosette disease.  This disease is fatal to roses and there is really nothing to be done.  I cut out the infected branches as they appear but know that eventually the rose will have to be removed.  You can probably imagine my sadness when I discovered that my gorgeous New Dawn rose, the one that climbs on the garden shed, was infected.  The disease is characterized by red pigmentation, a profusion of thorns and twisted leaves, known as witches'-broom.

I always spray my shears with alcohol after I'm done pruning any of my rose bushes.  I'm not 100% sure it helps but it makes me feel better.

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