It's time, my friends, to report the results of the Rose Rosette Plague and Massacre of 2017. I spent the weekend before last culling out the victims and mourning the holes left in the landscape beds, and there are still a couple of very sick individuals to tackle. This weekend, I had a brief respite from the slaughter of so many innocent roses while I accompanied Mrs. ProfessorRoush on a short day-long journey.
The Newly Departed, dead or ripped from the ground and cast on a funeral pyre:
Prairie Harvest (2)
Double Red Knockout
Alba Odorata X Bracteata
Red Moss (2)
Variegata de Bologna
Cardinal de Richelieu
Lady Elsie May
These are, mind you, just the roses that were showing Rose Rosette at the end of last year. I have not kept count, but I've probably lost 50 roses to RRD, or at least 25% of the rose cultivars in my garden. I have a number of other roses that just failed to return this year, but never showed any signs of Rose Rosette; were they weakened by disease and then finished off in a tough winter?
As far as groups of roses, the Rugosas seem to be the most resistant. I've only had one, 'Vanguard', definitely affected with RRD, although I'm suspicious of my 'Conrad Ferdinand Meyer' at present (but who could be sure, given its already excessive thorniness?). Most of my gallicas and albas seem to be resistant to RRD, although hybrids, like 'Morning Blush', are fair game. The Griffith Buck roses are hopeless. I've lost most of them, either due to RRD, or due to a combination of subclinical RRD and winter kill. My remaining Griffith Buck roses are either pretty isolated in distance from the main rose beds, or they are probably living on borrowed time. For those who are wondering, I don't believe the idea of cutting diseased canes off at their base has ultimately saved any rose and believe me, I tried. When you see the disease, destroy the plant immediately.
I've filled some of the holes, after an appropriate waiting period, with new roses, primarily Rugosas or OGR's, hoping that they are resistant to RRD. I just received starts of 'Moje Hammarberg', 'Fimbriata', 'Scabrosa', 'Armide', 'Georges Vibert', and 'Orpheline de Juiliet' from Rogue Valley and planted them today. I also went on a "sucker" spree last week and transplanted suckers of 'Harison's Yellow', 'Souveneir de Philmon Cochet', and 'Dwarf Pavement' into a number of areas. I'll probably regret the invasive possibilities of the 5 new clumps of 'Harison's Yellow' if they all live, but not until they get out of hand. My roses are going to be overwhelmingly yellow and early in a couple of years.
While I was out with Mrs. ProfessorRoush, I acquired the metal rose shown in the photo accompanying this blog entry. It may be prone to rust (sic), but I'll bet it doesn't become extra thorny nor develop witches broom growths from Rose Rosette Disease. One way or another, I'm going to have roses in my garden, eh?