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Overgrown Climbing Rose

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by LindSPH on March 13, 2004 06:08 PM
Don't know the variety, name. This climbing rose has a trunk that is 8" in circumference (sp?) and its oldest shoots are well over 12 foot tall and about an inch thick. Which would be okay if there weren't just 3 of them. Someone obviously removed a lot of newer growth inappropriately before we got this place. I would like to make this a more shapely, attractive plant especially since I've never seen one this old but I don't have the faintest idea how to go about pruning it right! All suggestions would be welcomed!
by Bill on March 14, 2004 02:38 AM
Hi Lind, welcome!!!
My sister had a humungoid climbing rose like the one you described. It climbed into the evergreens, over the garage and into the cities power lines. I hated to even touch it because even though the canes had grown far too long, it was still a beautiful site when it bloomed. Unfortunately, we had to do what we had to do, and butchered it back to 1/3 of its original size. The roots no longer had to supply food to branches that seemed to go on forever so all of that energy went toward creating a totally awesome red and white rose display in a much more limited space.

Be sure that you make every cut above an outside facing bud to force the plant to fan out rather than tangle inward, and do whatever you have to do to get the plant shaped to your satisfaction. In a year or two, you'll be glad you did!
[teacher]
by Ldymac on March 24, 2004 06:11 AM
Certainly you may prune it into a more esthetic looking climber...just do it in stages so as not to shock the old lady. Remove 1/3 of the unwanted canes each year...over a 3year period. First canes to go, should be any old, broken, diseased, or ones rubbing against other canes. This can be all done your first year. Early spring is a great time for this by the way. When choosing your 3 canes.....select healthy 1-2 year olds....that are nicely spaced apart...this will aid in allowing good air circulation. Don't forget to give your lady a good mulching of aged manure (at least 1 year old manure) as fresh will burn your plants. Hope this helps

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