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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 24, 2007

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Rose canker in roses on cedar posts
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

While visiting the wildflower Center I saw that some of the plants were growing on trellis' made of posts cut from cedar trees. I made a trellis for my climbing rose bush and where the stems touched, turned black and the rose also turned black. Are there only a certain kind of plants that can climb my cedar trellis?

ANSWER:

It is likely that your roses were attacked by a fungal disease which gained entry through contact wounds caused by rubbing against the rough cedar bark. The likeliest candidate would be a disease called rose canker. Many roses, especially the non-native ones, are susceptible to a host of diseases. Pruning out diseased canes and using good cultural practices may be all that is required to rejuvenate your rose.
 

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