A new headache

So, I’ve mentioned that thicket I’ve been beating back in my garden.  It’s mostly Russian olive, and barberry, and wild roses.  And the wild roses have just made themselves into a new and more frustrating problem.

I was looking at things– my garden is a weedy hellhole, and I really need to mulch.  It’s July on Monday, and this is just getting embarrassing.  But mulching issues aside, I noticed something funny on part of the wild roses that made me stop and frown.

rosette 1This is rose rosette on a wild rose.  At first I wasn’t sure, but I took a closer look, and the symptoms were unmistakable.

rosette 2New growth just shouldn’t look like that.  And there were too many thorns and distorted leaves.  Classic symptoms.  I couldn’t help myself.  I stood there and I looked at that, and I swore a lot.  And when I got done swearing, I started to worry.

See, I love my roses.  I have a dearly beloved Graham Thomas who is my very most favorite.  And rose rosette is spread by a tiny mite which is moved by the wind.  And by pruning one plant and then pruning an uninfected plant without sterilizing the pruners.  And I haven’t been sterilizing my pruners after dealing with the thicket, because I didn’t know I had this problem.

I haven’t seen any symptoms on my Graham Thomas yet.  But now I have to remove this massive rose bush. I’m debating doing it painstakingly by hand, sterilizing my loppers and saw after every work session, or do I just dig out the Roundup and do this in the no holds barred fast and destructive method?  I am cringing at the idea of using that much herbicide on one plant, at dumping that much on a plant so near my garden, so near other plants that aren’t causing problems.

Any thoughts? Opinions, suggestions?  This rose has to go– I know that, but I don’t have to like what I’m going to do to get rid of it.

And here, to make up for all the complaining, a picture of my butterfly weed in bloom.

sunlit asclepiasIs that not lovely and cheerful?


About weedsandwildthings

I am a horticulturist and knitter and writer, and many other things besides.
This entry was posted in dilemma, diseases, gardening, plants, small disaster and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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