Roses forum: New rose virus...intentionally released!

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Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
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Swayback
Aug 26, 2013 12:52 PM CST
I need to first apologize... The info I have is limited, and unconfirmed...

We have an unidentified heirloom rose on my farm, I'm not good with roses, not my thing, but it's the old fashion spray roses, with numerous small ball-like pink blooms in a cluster... I assume it's a floribunda...
the story Ive always been told is that they traveled here with the original members of my family from Europe...there's proof in the family bible it has at least in the family since the mid 1700's, roughly 80 years after "we" arrived in the states, and it's made the journey from the easy coast to Kentucky!
For my entire childhood they there was 2 massive bushes at the entrance to the farm, they were inundating a stretch of fence about 20' long, they were quite the sight!
So... Several years something happened to them, we couldn't figure it out...within a few years they ALL were affected, it's very clear they are sick!

This illness was expressed in the form of, the plant becoming chlorotic, and slowly defoliating some, by midsummer, growth and bloom would be halted entirely by then, shortly thereafter new growth would appear, NOT from the tip tho, usually a new shoot would emerge anywhere from 4 inches down from the tip, to somewhere deep within the dense crown.
There would generally only be a few of these shoots, one every 3-4 feet at first, more as the years go on...
These shoots emerge BRIGHT red, with many very small twisted distorted leaves, as they grow they remain red but darken some and the leaves twist and distort even more, they don't size up much at all, the stem store thes out a bit.

The over look of a plant will be sad and yellowish with sparse leaves, and then storage red "buds" randomly spaced on it...not a good look...

Well after sometime I started noticing more of it doting the country side, in people's landscaping, it was clear to me these plants were infected, all of them, with this same unfamiliar illness!
I ran into someone that I thought might know something about it, and they did!
I described the symptoms, he didn't let me get far, the little smirk on his face told me he knew just what I was talkin about...
He clearly wasn't at liberty to say much, but he says it's a lab created virus that has been intentional released to attempt to manage the
"wild" floribunda roses that are quite rampant around here...white single petals small flowers and insanely thorny...
Of course there's clumps of these "wild" floribundas practically touching my heirlooms, showing no signs of any problem!

I'm not sure if I should be telling you to watch out for your roses or not, it may not spread much, and it certainly attacks the spray roses worse, maybe only them, again I'm not sure...
I doubt any treatment will help... It's a virus...and I've given up on our old roses...😢
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Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
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Skiekitty
Aug 26, 2013 1:08 PM CST
Can you post pictures so we can see exactly what's it doing? I just did a quick Google search & not seeing anything outside of RRD. Are you sure that's not what has your roses? Looks like it's extremely prevalent there in KY.
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[Last edited by Skiekitty - Aug 26, 2013 1:10 PM (+)]
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roseseek
Aug 26, 2013 2:06 PM CST
RRD wasn't "lab created", but it was suggested by various universities that the mites which carry it should be released to control the R. multiflora the USDA GAVE AWAY to farmers and ranchers for several decades to provide "wildlife cover". That is very likely what the story is referring to. It was intended to control the multiflora rather than "wild floribunda" roses. I have no information about it every having finally been deliberately released or not, but it was widely suggested.
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
Aug 26, 2013 2:37 PM CST
Like I said I'm not up and roses, and it shows...
I meant to say wild multiflora, not wild floribunda!

It does in fact look like RRD!

My understanding was that the local university here had been attempting to improve the virus, calling it lab created is probably wrong, but this person told me that they had been attempting to improve the virus to be more easily transmitted and more detrimental to infected plants.

He indicated that in addition to spraying test plots(which are in open fields all around the area, and could have easily spread from there), that there was also some roadside spraying done aswell...





Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Aug 26, 2013 3:34 PM CST
This is from the Missouri Dept of Conservation:
(edit: this quote is referring to control of multiflora rose--not control of RRD. RRD was supposed to be the solution, but instead, the unintended consequences of its use are now perhaps a bigger problem.)
"No effective biological controls that are currently considered feasible in natural communities are known. Rose rosette disease (RRD) is a fatal disease of multiflora rose and some cultivated roses, first described in the 1940s. The disease is caused by a virus-like particle transmitted by an eriophyid mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus K.). During past drought years, mite populations built up and RRD spread through much of the Midwest. The disease kills infected roses within two to three years and has already reduced weed populations in some areas. Pruning of multiflora rose will encourage succulent growth, which is more susceptible to mite infestation. Pruning may be practical in areas where RRD is present to encourage the spread of the disease. However, RRD may also infect native roses and plums, as well as commercially important plants in the rose family such as apples, some types of berries, and ornamental roses

The rose seed chalid (Megastigmus aculeastus var. nigroflavus), a small wasp-like insect also imported from Japan, attacks developing seed of several rose species. By destroying large amounts of seed, the chalid limits new infestations. Research on the impact on cultivated roses along with studies on environmental limitations are currently being conducted. Both RRD and the rose seed chalid have been documented in Missouri, but not in all counties. Once more is known about the biology of these two control agents, RRD and the rose seed chalid could provide effective control of multiflora rose in areas where other methods are not feasible or are undesirable.
Multiflora rose
Starting more than a century ago, this nonnative rose was planted across America--for many good reasons--but it has proven to be invasive, and now the goal is to stop its spread."

Kansas and Oklahoma have similar documents on extension websites. Most of the farmland in the midwest used multiflora rose, and now, this is where the RRD problem is the greatest.
RRD is rampant in my garden. I take out, on average, 3 roses every week. Commercial plantings in our area are so heavily infested with RRD that most are replacing all roses with potentilla and other hardy shrubs.
I wouldn't 'call RRD a new virus, just one that is now getting noticed nationwide.
It's not nearly as big a mistake as the intentional release of kudzu was....



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H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
[Last edited by CindiKS - Aug 26, 2013 6:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Aug 27, 2013 12:16 PM CST
Swayback,
I meant to tell you before, I am so sorry you are losing a rose that has been in your family for so long. That's quite an accomplishment.
If the disease has not yet spread to one of the roses, maybe you could start cuttings? Keep in mind, though, that the disease is often in the rose before it shows symptoms. I'm sentimental about "family" roses, and hate to see you lose this one entirely, so I'm looking at a long shot here.
Any that do have the disease need to be removed, pronto. Disenfect your pruners or loppers after working on them. Don't plant another rose in that spot for a few years, until you are positive there are no root pieces remaining in the soil.
Group hug So sorry you lost the living heirlooms.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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