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31/03/2014 at 20:38

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! !

31/03/2014 at 23:44

I'd dig them up and burn then straight away. Inform defra

Get them to investigate. The disease is more likely to come from an imported source. A virus can only spread via a living organism (aphids etc) so it would not be airborne, but if it rose rosette virus it will probably be a notifiable infection.

01/04/2014 at 01:46

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)

24/04/2014 at 19:25

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.



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