She Had The Gall

'Tamora'.  Goodbye, gorgeous.

No, that's not dog doo.  Those are root/crown galls: 
Drat!  The two 'Tamora's by the front door have looked wretched the past couple of years.  Last years perfect rainy season did not improve them.  Something was wrong.  Extra water and fertilizer did not help, either.
Cutting them back yesterday...gall was apparent on their crowns.  Drat!  Drat!  Crown/root gall is fatal.  Out they must go.
 Root/crown gall is a bacterial infection.  The bacteria lives in the soil, and infects the plants via wounds--being hit with a shovel, for example.  
The gall forms a corky, cauliflower-like mass that robs water and nutrients for itself, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients to the plant's stems and leaves.  You can't water them enough, you can't fertilize them enough. The galls get it all. The rose goes into a fatal decline. 
Interesting structure of this doomed 'Tamora':  
This was a grafted 'Tamora, planted 20 years ago.  The scion ('Tamora') formed some roots of its own (red arrows).  The area circled in white was the original root stock ('Dr. Huey') roots.  There is a gall mass on the 'Dr. Huey' roots (green arrow).  There is also a gall on the bud union of the plant (blue arrow).  (The bud union is the area where the scion emerges from the root stock stem.)

The dying 'Tamora's came out pretty easily.  More difficult will be the Italian Cypress stumps.  

Stump removal will be after mulching.  Mulching will be after the rose pruning is completed.  
Almost there.  Stay on target. 


  1. Interesting about the rose galls. I am not familiar with rose problems since I don't grow many. It is sad to lose a plant that you have had so long. I get emotionally attached to certain plants which is why I think that way. Those stumps are daunting.

    1. Agree, I get attached to the roses especially. Fragrance!

      I dug out two stumps last year--it wasn't so bad. I did a little bit almost every day for a while, and then--they were out.

  2. How sad! It's such a pretty rose. Will you plant more in the same spots, or is that courting another infection? As to the Cypress stumps,best wishes! I don't envy you that task.

    1. I bought another rose, but have not planted it. Yes, they are vulnerable to the same infection if planted where the old ones were. It is recommended to wait two years for the bacteria to die out, or change out the soil. There is a product called Nogall which you can treat the new rose roots with to prevent infection, but it's fairly expensive, about the cost of 4 new roses. Thinking, thinking about what to do. In the meantime, more left to prune.

  3. Lots of changes. Too bad about the Tamoras but they did give you 20 years of joy. Not bad for a tea rose. Lots of changes happening in your garden.

    1. Yes they were a joy for many years. :) Gardens evolve, and that's okay.


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