Original Post on 8/10 -
I planted some roses about 5 months ago. They were cut at the base one by one. So far I got 5 roses that died in such a way within two weeks. I first noticed the leaves looked wilt even after watering. I gently put it up and surprisingly the rose was already cut sharply at the base level. The same day I placed physical barriers around the base for other roses, put rat trappers next to them, and ordered ultrasound devices for preventing underground activities. That was only a week ago, today I saw one more rose that looked ‘dry’, without a doubt, it was cut from underground, with no abnormalities above the ground. I’m puzzled and frustrated, I cannot seem to find the culprit. The "drying" happened mostly during the daytime, but hard to tell when it was actually started.
Some background context, we get a neighbor who loves birds, they have 4 bird feeders in their yard. We also have a creek next to our yard, I see a ton of animals every day, deer, whitetail rabbits, all kinds of birds. They all look suspicious. Other plants are doing great in our yard, no damage to roses in the containers and only roses in the ground were cut. I asked some neighbors, one told me she has lived in the area for 25 years, and only this year did she see plants being cut mysteriously. I live in zone 9b.
Edit on 8/12 - I'm an inexperienced gardener (< 1 year), those roses are my first batch. I do not know how to check whether the rose roots still exist or are eaten by the time I saw the damages.
Picture 1 & 2 - Rose: Eleganza Fiji, Type: Hybrid Tea, Age: 3 month, Damage: Cut (or eaten) from underground, Root existence: Unclear, Top Level: No damage
Picture 3 & 4 - Rose: Phyllis Bide Climbing Rose, Type: Rosa, Age: 4 month, Damage: Cut sharply from base, Root existence: Unclear, Top Level: No damage