Now is the time for pruning roses and other woody perennials. Make sure your pruning tools are sharp and clean them often. After pruning, sprinkle a little fertilizer around the plants to give them that extra boost when they start their spring growth.
For the last several years we have been bombarded with folks bringing in samples of diseased roses. They all have Rose Rosette. This is a virus that is spread by an Eriophyid mite. There is no cure for this disease. If you have an infected rose remove it along with all of its root system. Can you combat this mite? That depends on who you talk to. Using a miticide, whether all-natural or not, will affect the entire ecosystem as well as having little effect on the Eriophyid mite. Click here for more information on Rose Rosette.