Sunday, 15 May 2016


It was recommended by several sources to share information. I was sternly scolded by a master garner on how important it is to stop the spread of disease, another suggested posting on Twitter, facebook, Nextdoor, EVERYWHERE! Well, here is my experience posting on Nextdoor.

 Our Nextdoor consist of 47 members, some have separate accounts for spouses. It is not very active, a few post about yard sales and such. I thought I would take the opportunity to use Nextdoor as a way to help my neighbors and bring more awareness. I was sure they would find the information helpful, interesting, and be willing to dig up their infected roses, protect their roses. I thought maybe I could protect them from turning their street into a water park or getting electrocuted.  Here is a list with dates of my post, and the reaction or lack there of.

April 17: There is no easy way to say this, I have seen the rose rosette virus aka witches broom on many roses throughout the neighborhood.

If you think this is not serious THINK AGAIN! This virus is here in this neighborhood. If you have infected roses they will die, most likely within 2 years if not sooner! The longest documented only lasted for 7 years.

Knock Out roses which are mostly in the neighborhood are marketed as a rose that NEVER gets any disease, and NEVER needs any care. That is a myth, According to researchers Knock Out roses have been unknowingly sold at big box stores with this virus. Most researchers use Knock Out roses in their trials.

There is no known cure for the rose rosette virus, if one of your rose bushes is infected it will die. The disease is spread by an extremely small mite not visible with the naked eye through the air when the wind blows. Even using a leaf blower around infected roses helps spread the virus.

If you choose to do nothing, the mite that transmits the virus will continue to multiply then be blown by the wind to your neighbor's roses.

Experts say to dig up the plant roots and all then dispose of it. Then not plant another rose in that location for quite some time. The longer you wait the bigger the colony of mites becomes, and the more it spreads.

I urge everyone to inspect your rose bushes, ask neighbors to inspect their rose bushes. If you think you have observed this fatal rose disease known as rose rosette virus, but need a second opinion call the cooperative extension, ask them to verify. The virus only effects roses, as far as the experts know. An infected rose can show symptoms in as little as 3 weeks or take as long as 1 year.

If nothing is done this virus can spread like wildfire killing ALL the roses here in our neighborhood. As a precaution I dug up 2 roses, because I believed they had one infected branch. When your rose has more than 1 infected branch,

There is nothing you can spray that will make this virus go away. If your roses are not yet infected, you should start spraying them with a miticide and spray weekly. If you are an organic person, get some lady bugs and some more beneficial insects. Start inspecting your roses regularly. There are public rose gardens that are plagued with this virus, no rose is immune, but you can stop the spread.

Please look carefully at the photos in this these links of the rose rosette virus. Take a moment to actually read the attached links. The more the virus is ignored the more it spreads.

1 neighbor thanked me  1 neighbor replied : "We just decided to cut them down to the ground and see if they comeback. Thanks for the info." My responce: If a bush is fully infected, roots and all should be bagged and removed. If only a one branch is infected, there is a slight possibility that the bush will come back healthy. Pruning equipment should be cleaned with bleach to avoid spreading the virus to other rose bushes. Unless the rose bush is rare or has extreme sentimental value it should be destroyed roots and all.

April 30: Flyers were passed out to every household unless it got blown away by the wind. The rose rosette virus is very serious and should not be ignored or taken lightly. While passing out fliers I noticed many houses that had roses seriously infected with the rose rosette virus. Not one street was without infected rose bushes. I have spoken with a few who have taken care of the issue or have made arrangements to have the infected roses removed. The cooperative extension service is available to help you identify suspected plants. If you have roses infected with rose rosette please act responsibly and remove the infected plants promptly. Failure to remove the infected plants will continue the onslaught of this deadly virus.

I responded to this post 7 times with photos of my roses, no one thanked me.

May 2: Call Before You Dig! 811 Call before you dig or (800) 282-7411 please make that call if you haven't done so already. Under ground utilities mostly run parallel with the side walk. I encourage everyone with infected bushes near the sidewalk to make that call ASAP! It is important anyway to call them, take photos of where your utilities are marked and use it as future reference. It is not safe to use mechanical equipment to dig near these underground utility lines. I am attempting to find out the safest way to remove these bushes from these areas. One researcher at the University of Arkansas says if you are NOT replanting a rose bush in that location, to cut it down at ground level and apply herbicide, then watch for suckers and continue to use herbicide each time a sucker shoots up, which could take some time. No one responded or thanked me. My response 5/2/2016 Depending on the rootstock was used on your rose roots, the roots can grow to be 12 feet or more. Some sources estimate underground utilities to be as shallow as 2 feet deep. I am waiting on those exact numbers and will post. Again, it is best to dig up roots from roses infected with rose rosette, and roots can put out suckers as much as 2 years later. If that is just not possible, herbicide is the next best option, but in this case it is not advisable to ever plant another rose in that location.

Please keep in mind that underground utilities should be treated the same as overhead utilities, it is usually best to avoid planting in those areas, If you have planted by utility boxes, or on top of underground utility lines, please keep in mind when utility companies need to work, it is possible for them to cut down your bush/plant/tree/shrub. Planting bushes/plants/trees/shrubs with deep roots or without root barriers can damage underground utilities. People and landscapers do it all the time, that does not mean it is advisable to do so. Also please keep in mind that if you deliberately plant on the property line any bush/plant/tree that overhangs on your neighbor's property line it could cause conflicts, especially if that plant/shrub/tree becomes diseased/dead/obnoxious/etc or you are unable to maintain that plant/tree/shrub/bush/even a fence without constantly going on your neighbors property. Any arrangement you may have with a current homeowner, the next homeowner may not agree to. When planting ANYTHING or putting up fences please keep these things in mind. Again on 5/2/2016 The power company said average 2ft, water company said as little as a foot, and phone company said 18-24 inches. This is why it's very important to call before you dig. I didn't call the cable company, but that is probably similar to the other utilities. 5/11/2016 I assumed it was possible that some haven't dug up their roses because they were waiting on call before you dig. I called call before you dig and they were out that very afternoon and were finished within 2 days.

Last week I put in phone calls to more than one power provider to get information about safe planting and distance from underground utilities.

After consulting with their engineers I was told not to plant anything in front of any transformer box, and do not plant anything within 12 feet from the side or back of any transformer box. I was also told not to plant within 10 feet of the underground utilities that run parallel with the sidewalk.

This information may differ with utility providers. Many find transformer boxes an eyesore and choose to put other people's lives at risk for aesthetic purposes only. If an underground utility is damaged by a root coming in contact with the wire, the plant can conduct electricity. This can seriously injure or kill humans and animals.

May 3: Boxwood blight is a serious problem in the state of Georgia at this time. Quality boxwoods are not cheap plants. I am not sure how many of you have boxwood or if any of you have boxwood but if you have boxwood you should pay attention. Boxwood blight can kill a plant within 2 days. If you have boxwood I suggest you stay on top of things and inspect your plant, and protect your plant the best you can, and ask anyone in the neighborhood who has boxwood to do the same. Plant diseases can and do spread quickly when ignored, that is why it is important to pay attention and act quickly. Look at the link below for more info. Our local cooperative extension office is available should you need more information.
No one bothered to thank me or respond.

May 9: Because so many have failed to remove their rose rosette infected bushes, everyone who has roses not yet infected is playing Russian roulette with their own bushes. Many may not realize exactly how bad rose rosette is, or simply just don't care.
Every time anyone does lawn care with mowers, leaf blowers, or even weed eaters near any infected roses the mites are infecting nearby roses. Even simply taking a walk the mites transport on your clothing infecting other rose bushes.
Even using miticide does not guarantee that uninfected roses are automatically protected. It is beyond discouraging that rose rosette has spread so far and wide in such a small area because many have failed to take notice or action when many roses became infected with rose rosette. Now all everyone with uninfected roses can do is sit back and watch the infected deformed rose rosette infected bushes die. I hope that something will cause people to wake up and do something before every rose bush around here is dead.
I am further disheartened that I have spent time planting and maintaining many uncommon and some extremely hard to obtain roses only to continuously watch almost everyone with rose rosette infected bushes do nothing. I have given away more than a dozen baby rose bushes that I spent time propagating just to get them far away from diseased bushes. I have given up my place in line for several hard to obtain roses because of this outbreak. This outbreak has affected me in a very negative way. I hope everyone will take heed and do the right thing.

The attached photo is of diseased debris that has blown in my yard. No one bothered to thank me or respond

May 10: When someone posted about wanting to earn some extra money I responded with this: Maybe they could make some money digging up rose bushes infected with rose rosette. Just an idea.

May 10:This is an advanced color copy, my printer only prints black and white so that is what will be passed out to everyone. There are 2 versions so those with infected roses with know their roses are infected. IT DOES NOT AFFECT HUMANS! I am unclear on whether or not people think it does. It would appear that few are taking proper action, or fully understand how serious a threat this virus is. I did 5 responses to this post about symptoms and similar pictures, again no one Thanked me or bothered to respond.

May 11: Rose Rosette Fun Fact of the Day Pine pollen can travel by wind up to 1800 miles and still be viable! Think of what little eriophyid mites can do when they only have to go from one rose to another a few houses away. These are the very mites that spread rose rosette!

May 12th: The iconic breakfast cereal Cheerios was introduced in 1941 by General Mills as CheeriOats. This is also the year rose rosette was first identified!

May 13th: Our local Cooperative Extension office has agreed to do a public informative educational presentation about rose rosette sometime soon, hopefully within the next few months to bring more awareness. Hopefully others in our area will be interested in stopping the spread of this virus.

May 13th: Share helpful information posted by one of my neighbors!!

"6. What do you mean by "moderation" and not over posting? Is there a message limit?
There isn't a single answer to this question or a specific message limit. It really depends on the stage of your neighborhood and the tolerance of your neighbors. For example, when neighborhoods are in their early stages with fewer than 50 members, we recognize that a small number of members will do most (and sometimes all) of the posting. But once a neighborhood becomes bigger and more active, it's important that members become more conscious of the dangers of over posting and dominating discussions in a way that frustrates their neighbors or discourages others from posting. In such neighborhoods, members should generally avoid posting more than a couple of posts or comments back-to-back, or initiating multiple threads on the same topic in the main newsfeed. If you see that a majority of the posts and comments are yours, you’re likely over-posting. Meanwhile, if you believe that someone else is over posting, send them a (polite) private message letting them know or post a general message to the newsfeed (without naming anyone specifically) reminding people of this guideline. Additionally, keep in mind that "bumping" a message multiple times to bring it back up to the top of the newsfeed is considered a form of spamming or over posting.
I mean no offense and just want NextDoor to continue to be a helpful resource for our neighborhood. thanks!"
8 Thanks so far!

May 13:  Hazmat suits are worn when dealing with hazardous materials. They're also worn for removal of rose rosette infected bushes in large public gardens!

May 14:  Hairspray is great for keeping your hair in a nice style, but it can also be useful when removing rose rosette infested bushes! Simply spray the rose thoroughly with a standard hairspray before removal to aid in keeping all the mites contained to one bush.

May 14: Another post by the SAME neighbor: MUTE if ever you are having issues with neighbors violating policy and posting the same info daily, you can simply go to their profile, click the 3 dots on the right and click mute. they won't know they've been muted but lol you will
That post was thanked 4 times.

And here we are today. Yesterday someone did dig up infected roses! To me it is a miracle every time it happens. So while most choose to ignore, there are those few who have paid attention. One thing is sure the Grim Reaper of roses is coming for everyone's roses in my neighborhood unless it is stopped.

 edited to add a message from one of my neighbors: "Rose diseases happen. Get over it." So far, this has been thanked twice.

edited to add a message I replied to the last neighbor:
I appreciate your comment of "Rose diseases happen. Get over it."
However, your reaction and others of not wanting to see or hear about a fatal disease that affect everyone in the neighborhood that has roses is appalling. Rose rosette disease is not like other rose diseases that one can go out and buy a spray for, it is FATAL and there is NO CURE for it. One does not get over a fatal plant disease that spreads by the wind when others have failed to take notice, or attempt to stop it, or while there are diseased roses in close proximity.
Muting the conversation or ignoring it is not going to make the fatal disease go away. When I look and see that there are residents in this neighborhood that have diseased roses, and are not considerate enough of their neighbors to take care of the problem it says a lot. I am ashamed to have such uncaring neighbors, I am ashamed that some of my own neighbors have such disrespect for our national flower. Some of you can continue to ridicule me all they want, it will not stop the fact there are diseased roses in this neighborhood, and the problem will not go away on its own.

1 comment:

  1. your neighbors sound horrible! GL with dealing with them!!!