- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Officials say thousands of rosebushes in North Texas have been affected by a disease that leaves them with puckered leaves, deformed buds and thorn-covered stems.

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens senior horticulturist Steve Huddleston says rose rosette disease arrived in North Texas three years ago, but this year has been particularly difficult. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (https://bit.ly/1TLtgWc ) reports the disease has no cure and is spread by mites.

Gardeners at the Botanic Gardens have ripped up and replaced hundreds of diseased rosebushes in the Rose Garden. More than 5,400 rosebushes in medians and parks in suburban Southlake have been removed and replaced.

Dallas Arboretum vice president Dave Forehand says that rose rosette is an “epidemic,” and that “North Texas is the epicenter.”

According to Huddleston, crews have to constantly keep an eye out because dealing with the disease has been an uphill battle. “You plant a bush and four months later have to rip it out. The disease is everywhere,” Huddleston said.

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Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, https://www.star-telegram.com

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