Rose Bush Stems Have Round Shaped Balls Of Various Sizes

Question From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Q: I was in Northern Wisconsin looking at my cousins rose buses which are well established and on the stems are balls, tumor like ranging from marble to golf ball in size. They still have thorns and otherwise appear to be healthy. They are not all by the roots. They are on the stems feet off the ground. Otherwise the pictures I saw look like bacteria crown Gall however these balls are very round in shape. What is it and how can it be treated?

A: The galls formed on roses may be smooth, fuzzy or have spines. The bacterial crown gall cannot be treated with chemical. The galls can be cut away. Clean the knife or pruners with 70 percent alcohol after every cut. If the disease is established and the gall return the rose should be dug out and destroyed. The soil is contaminated, so do not plant roses in that spot for 5 years. Badly infected roses will decline and die and you run the risk of having the disease spread to other roses in the garden. Crown gall will also spread to fruit trees, brambles and other woody and herbaceous plants, so I recommend your cousin remove them. Again clean all tools afterwards. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.