Pruning rose trees, when and how to do it

Pruning roses, the ultimate compendium

Pruning is an important step in the life cycle of a rose tree because it is the key to bearing great flowers.

Perhaps going against a widespread belief, note that pruning rose trees is best done at the end of the winter, in February or March depending on the climate zone, in any case at the very beginning of spring.

Pruning rose trees, key guidelines

Pruning cut on a rose bushThe rose tree should be in a dormant state for it to withstand this “operation” in the best possible manner.
But it is also very important to avoid spells of frost which might hinder your rose tree’s correct development.

That’s why the best time to prune is at the end of the winter while the rose tree is still at rest and there are no more risks of freezing weather anymore.

Pruning rose trees will invigorate them.
It is needed to ensure proper development and blooming of the shrub.

Various pruning techniques are adapted to the different rose varieties

Click on the type of rose tree you wish to prune:

Cane roses, bush roses or shrub roses

This rose tree can be left to freely grow up to 3 to 5 feet high (1 to 1.5 meters), and cutting it back every year isn’t mandatory.

It is good to favor growth of new wood, selecting and keeping the most vigorous branches.

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Rose trees with large flowers or Hybrid Tea roses

This type of rose tree is the most common variety, and it is often cut down to just a couple inches (a few centimeters) above the ground. It is appreciated for its large flowers that come in many hues and colors.

For these hybrid tea roses, again the most vigorous branches are selected and kept, discarding old and dead wood.

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Climbing rose trees

When properly cared for and pruned as years go by, climbing rose trees can become magnificent; however, if neglected for several years they can become quite a nuisance.

Selecting the stems to prune, the correct moment to prune, and training the lengths of scaffold branches is important.

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English roses

The pruning of English roses is similar to that of bush or shrub roses, but is in this case a bit more severe.

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See also:

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: Ivan Radic
Public Domain: Irina