Friday, 27 May 2016

EXTRA EXTRA Read All About it!

  After noticing rose rosette on my own roses, all I wanted to do was warn others. I assumed that it was possible that many did not even realize rose rosette existed. Thinking it would be a great idea, I quickly notified the paper. I presented an article written by my teen.

After the article was written we promptly emailed it as instructed. The editor of our small local paper told us the article was being edited and would be published in an upcoming edition. We were excited, not because we were proud it was good enough to be published, but because we wanted to help others, we wanted to save more roses than just our own.

We told others to be watching for the article, as we wanted to believe it would be published very soon. Sadly we never saw the article published. This has not discouraged us. Our local extension agent told us they would be willing to give an educational presentation sometime during the next few months. This in itself will help save more roses from the dreaded rose rosette virus.

Below is a copy of the article presented, along with an additional one about boxwood blight. We assumed if we also showed how devastating and destructive some plant diseases are, maybe others would wake up and listen about rose rosette.

Rose rosette article:

Almost everyone loves roses, the flower that symbolizes love with its divine scent. However, there is something threatening these beautiful bushes. This is a deadly virus on the loose, which is blowing in the wind on a mite as small as a speck of dust. One would never believe this tragedy would strike their beloved rose garden, or anywhere near them. Most people don’t even know this virus exists, how to recognize it, or even what to do if it is discovered.

The deadly disease that only strikes roses is known as the rose rosette virus. It is spread by the eriophyid mite, that is as tiny as a speck of dust and blown in the wind like a balloon. This mite then lands on your roses, waiting to devour them and transmitting this deadly virus causing unfortunate death. The disease gives the rose a sickly witches broom appearance, with unnatural bright red leaves, elongated and deformed, and only half open flowers that will often have misshapen petals. It is so bad, that in Texas they have formed a Rose Rosette Eradication Society.

It is more common than people realize. If you look, you can see it in the roses planted at shopping malls, restaurants, and even nurseries! This killer even plagues public rose gardens. Some uninformed nurseries don't even know what the disease is, and merely chop off the strange growth, causing consumers to spread it to their own gardens. Even lawn care companies that you trust to know best will unknowingly spread the virus through uncleaned tools, as they have never heard of it and do not know what a threat it is. Inexperienced planters plant Knockout Roses in overabundance, thinking they don't get any disease, but no rose is immune, not even the vastly popular and massively planted Knockouts. As these roses are treated as no-prune no-care, they make large nets perfect for sucking in mites.

There is no cure. Despite how brutal it may sound, once your rose is infected it is gone. Opinions widely differ, but once discovered the infected roses require prompt attention. Some believe if only one branch is affected, you can cut it off and carefully watch for normal growth. However, most experts recommend that the plant be dug up and disposed of or burned, and then equipment should be sterilized. Even the scarcest bit of root remaining may cause the next rose you plant there to rapidly contract the virus, causing it to get sickly and die. Even roots from one rose bush touching another can spread this virus.

Stopping the spread of rose rosette is extremely important. Many choose to ignore and neglect causing the virus to spread to others. This is terrible, and if you do this you are becoming part of the problem, and part of the reason rose rosette continues like the plague in roses. Nothing works well to prevent it, not even miticides. All you can do is keep strict watch over your bushes, and destroy any infected as soon as they appear. Do not wait for the virus to go away on its own, as it will not. Doing so will only improve the spreading of this terrible disease. It is important for communities and neighbors to work together to remove infected roses to stop the spread of this horrid disease.

 There is a test to confirm rose rosette for the people who need scientific proof. You can get more info on it at your county extensions office. If this has the power to wipe out Oklahoma City’s public rose garden, it surely has the power to wipe out yours.

Boxwood blight article:

 It’s obvious that the boxwood is an important plant. They’re seen everywhere from in front of houses to surrounding UGA’s football field. Most of the stunning, well-cut topiaries visible in garden centers and yards alike were carved from boxwood. However, these iconic hedges are at risk for extinction, all thanks to a fungal disease known as boxwood blight.

  Boxwood blight is like other plant diseases on steroids. The deadly disease can turn a plant that was once green and beautiful into dead twigs within two days. All this damage is caused by small, sticky fungal spores. They’ll latch on clothing, pets, people, or anything else in their path. If an infected spore comes into contact with a boxwood shrub, it can often prove fatal to the bush.

  The only reason boxwood blight is so widespread is because of how little is known about it. Proper precautions are not taken. Infected plants are composted and disposed of normally. The soil and fallen leaves are not given special treatment, and they contain the disease. If people begin to take care in making sure plants are not diseased, and eliminate those that are, fatal plant diseases such as boxwood blight wouldn’t be spreading as they are today.

  The first symptoms of boxwood blight include brown spots on the leaves and stems. If left, these spots grow into dark lesions on the plant. Eventually, the entire shrub will become devoid of leaves, instead a mass of dead sticks. During the time it takes for the plant to become infected and die, many more can get it. The only thing that can prevent further spread is immediate and careful removal as soon as the telltale spots appear.

  No boxwood is immune, from the roughest-cut yard shrubs to the carefully pruned ones owned by master gardeners. Fungal sprays cannot cure it. The only remedy for this fatal disease is prevention.

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