Goodbye disappointing rose

A few years back -- four I think -- I built a copper trellis and planted a climbing rose outside my kitchen window. It was labeled as 'Fourth of July' rose, which should have had red blooms streaked with white.

I say "should have" because I never saw this happen. The blooms were fully red, and the plant never looked like the photos I found. It was a disappointing rose in general, never reaching the size I had hoped for, and this past weekend I finally removed it.


I probably would have left this guy in place for a few more years at least, but... well, first, here's what the plant looked like in June 2013:

Here's what it looked like this weekend:

And this is the reason that I removed it now:

This plant is infected with RRV, rose rosette virus. (More info on RRV can be found here)

I probably should have removed this a month or more ago when I first noticed the strange growth, but this was a busy summer and I only now had the time to tackle this.

First, protection. I knew I needed to wear two layers of gloves, but the "underwear" layer wasn't in the best shape, especially where it really counts:

The fix? Duct tape!

Pulling on the second layer of gloves was difficult -- this was a much tighter fit than expected, probably from the duct tape. Fingers barely bendable.

Still, they did the job, and the plant was soon converted into a pile of clippings.

Note that technically this rose has not been removed, only pruned severely. The roots are still in the ground:

I will tackle digging this out another day, as the trellis makes things much more difficult and I'm not sure that I can pull it out of the ground.

So the trellis is empty again, something I haven't seen for a couple of years:

I'm not certain that it's still 100% vertical -- it may be leaning a bit now.

Looks good with the bamboo, but the hunt is on to find a replacement plant for this trellis. Another rose is not possible, as the virus is reported to live in the soil and the new plant would almost immediately become infected.

I'm almost certain that a clematis will be the replacement plant of choice here -- more on that in the near future.

One more thing...

I've got the clippings bagged for yard waste pickup, but...

...I'm not sure that I should put these infected parts into the commercial compost stream. Will this virus be killed by the high temps that large-scale compost piles can reach, or will it survive to infect other plants?

What would you do with these clippings: commercially compost, or send to landfill? I've got two days to decide.


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Mark and Gaz  – (October 7, 2014 at 8:55 AM)  

I'd go for landfill. Have to say the trellis on its own looks architectural, you can pass that off as a modern garden art :)

I wonder if the rose was mislabeled all along?

danger garden  – (October 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM)  

Save that duct taped glove, you're part way to your Tin Man Halloween costume! (I've not a clue about the rose waste)

Alan  – (October 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM)  

Mark/Gaz: I was thinking about enhancing the trellis a bit so it will make a bit more of a statement on its own. We'll see...

Loree: Good idea! I just need about 10 more rolls of duct tape and a metal funnel (do they still make those?) and I'm homefree with the costume! :)

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