A Rose Is A Rose

...so the poem goes. However, there are many problems with roses. Tea roses are beautiful, come in many beautiful varieties but are very high maintenance. Shrub roses, particularly knockout and double knockout roses are very beautiful and easy to maintain. Unfortunately they are dying like crazy in Kansas City and I believe that architects, homeowners and landscapers like myself carry much of the blame. In the 25 years that I have been in the green industry I have seen the same thing happen with Bradford Pears, Ash trees and Knockout roses. OVER PLANTING! I'm as guilty as anyone, but I'm doing something about it! I'm resisting the urge to plant these varieties and encouraging my customers not to use them. Bradford pears fall apart after about 20 years because they are brittle and hold their leaves well into the winter season. This compounds the weight of snow or ice in early winter storm conditions. Ash trees are susceptible to the emerald green ash borer (Chicago had to clear cut their parks and roadways) and knockout roses are vulnerable to "rose rosette" disease. This is a virus spread by a wingless mite less than 1/100th of an inch in length. Because they have been over planted almost every commercial and many residential landscapes have been affected. The only known solution is to dig out and destroy them. DO NOT COMPOST ROSES!!!! Which brings me to another potential victim: Red Maples. We are way over planting because we love their beautiful crimson foliage every fall. I feel certain that there will be a price to pay in the future. So please consider what you’re planting when deciding what to put in your landscape and as always ask a professional for advice. I hope to hear from you soon!  Mike 


Posted on July 11, 2013 .