Rose Rosette of Real Concern
It makes the fungus black spot look bush league. Rose rosette is a fatal viral disease of rose plants, and it’s showing up wherever roses are grown. The most visible symptoms: rank growth that almost resembles damage done by a broadleafed weedkiller. Those canes are completely filled with thorns, much more so than the unaffected parts of the plants. And flowers on afflicted stems are few and abnormal.
Rose rosette is spread by small insects that move from plant to plant. There is speculation that the planting of big beds of masses of roses has accelerated its spread. But the real message is that roses that are affected by rose rosette must be dug and destroyed, roots and all. There are no organic or inorganic remedies that will prevent or cure it.
Rather than continuing to post what I know about rose rosette, I thought it might be more prudent to give you links to what rose experts have written.
From the American Rose Society, a story that my friend the late Field Roebuck wrote more than a decade ago (excellent photographs): http://www.ars.org/?page_id=3247
From Texas AgriLife Extension and my friend Dr. Mike Merchant: http://citybugs.tamu.edu/2011/07/13/rose-rosette-disease-transmitted-by-a-mite/
From the garden editor of HGTV: http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/rose-rosette/index.html
From Virginia Tech: http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/450/450-620/450-620_pdf.pdf