Mite-borne virus destroys Lake Cliff rose gardens

rose garden postcard

The Friends of Oak Cliff Parks removed all of the rose bushes from Lake Cliff Park recently to prevent the spread of a contagious disease the plants were carrying.

The disease, rose rosette, causes spindly growths called “witches’ brooms.” Eventually it kills the plant. The disease, carried by a wingless mite, has no preventative or remedy.

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A plant infected with rose rosette. Photo via the Plant Clinic at Texas A&M University

The all-volunteer Friends of Oak Cliff Parks has been battling the disease in Lake Cliff Park’s historic rose gardens for about two years. They tried to keep it contained in Lake Cliff.  But the disease spread rapidly among the park’s gardens, and the group decided to remove the plants to keep the disease from spreading outside of the park.

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Images courtesy of Friends of Oak Cliff Parks

All of the park’s rose beds currently are empty, but there are plans to plant them with crepe myrtle and native perennial nectar plants. But doing that will require time and money, so the friends group is asking for donations of cash and volunteer hours.

Make a donation or sign up to volunteer on their website.

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