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Planted six rose bushes (bought from a good garden centre) last summer.  The stems are now covered in an overabundance of  thorns.    Some are thick and red , mixed

with thinner spikier brown ones.  Can hardly see the stems! !  Also red witches  broom type growth sprouting  all down stems. Some very thick  malformed stems .       

Web research indicates that this is rose rosette disease ....seems to be quite prevalent across America ...recently. ..having   made the leap  from fairly wild multiflora type  roses  iin parks and on roadsides   to cultivated roses in gardens. 

There is loads of information on USA websites. ( sorry can't do links) but no UK  references.  The photos on US sites look exactly like mine..(sorry can't post photos)

Neighbours garden has a very old briar type rose which looks to have the same    


problem.  We live about 70 metres from the sea  in NW  England ...could this  disease have travelled on the wind across the Atlantic! !

The U.S. sites say a very small .(microscopic. ) Mite is involved a and may " hitchhike on dust e.g. or a bird etc but think they  are talking 100 metres rather than trans Atlantic. 

Thanks foryour reply will contact defra tomorrow.                                        


Sorry  but did you mean I should get the garden centre ./supplier involved. ?

What I find really  puzzling is  the lack of mention of rose rosette virus in any U.K. media .After 6 hours of searching the  web  yesterday all I could find was a letter to the daily mail from someone in Devon who thought his roses were infected.(can't find that now)

I live in Lincolnshire, England  and have just lost all 20 shrub roses in a bed to rose rosette virus.

The virus can only have come to my rose bed from two replacement roses over the last two years, purchased from garden centres.

I am sure I am not the only person in Lincolnshire to have encountered this awful viral disease. What appals me is the total lack of information about this problem and the fact that it is disseminated by infected plants in garden centres and the like.




I live in mid sussex and have lost a number of roses this spring to similar symtoms to 'Coastal 1' above. A second rose bed only e few yards away was not affected. ! do not know where the RRD has come from. It mainly affected established roses and there were no recently purchased roses involved. Can anyone help me to understand this. There seems to be no remedy!


It seems from your corrrespondents that the only instances notified of RRD in the UK are very widespread - one each in the NW, NE, SE, &SW. THese infections cannot have come from airbourne mites which  only spread locally (among roses in the same garden). The infection must have come from roses obtained from commercial suppliers. For commercial reasons these suppliers are keen to cover up the problem. No doubt some of these roses have been imported from infected  countries. I suggest that you do not buy roses on mail order since you cannot inspect before purchase. I  think that my infection came from a mail order bare root rose from a well known UK supplier!


Does this disease dry up roses? I have not heard of it before and have  small bush rose that always seems to bear shrivelled blooms, although the one next to it is fine... puzzled, will pop out to take pics when the rain stops in the hope of getting some advice too...

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