Of course you’ve noticed them… those beautifully proportioned tree roses. And here’s good news for you. Tree roses are as easy to grow as any other rose in a pot or with easy-to-supply winter protection they are as long lived as your other rose favorites.
Not Trained Roses
Tree roses are not “trained roses.” They are a grafted product of three different types of rose.
The root is usually a hardy species; the stem (standard) selected for its straight sturdy growth may be R. multiflora, canina or Vanguard, among others. The flowering top is likely to be almost any of our favorite hybrid teas or floribundas grafted into the stem.
Tree roses are planted just as you would plant any of your other roses like popular knockout roses.
Select a location which receives about half a day’s sun. If the soil is sandy mix compost and peat moss into it. Do not try growing these roses in heavy, poorly drained soil.
Dig a hole deep enough or use a pot for the stem-root graft to be planted at ground level.
The planting hole or container should be large enough so the roots can spread out without crowding.
Cover the roots with soil and firm it with your fingers or a wooden tamping stick. Fill the planting hole with soil and give the newly planted rose a soaking with at least three-quarters of a pail of water.
Compact Pruning for Compact Growth
After planting your tree rose take pruning shears and cut the top branches to within six to eight inches of the crown or top of the trunk. This assures compact growth.
Because the trunks of the larger tree roses are tall—three to four feet high—there is some danger of wind damage. Avoid this by giving the trunk the support of a strong wooden stake. Put this stake down when you plant the rose.
Trim those Suckers
As the plant grows keep the suckers rubbed or cut off the trunk. Fertilize tree roses as often as you do your other roses. Many gardeners like to give them foliage feeding as well as root fertilizing. Tree roses are subject to the usual pests and ailments so spray them when you tend your other roses.
Remember the Dormant Spray
Apply dormant spray in the fall. When growing in the ground… after the first freeze tuck the tree rose away for the winter. Winter protection is necessary in all but the mildest of climates. It can be elaborate or if you’re a busy gardener you’ll take this easy 15-minute way to give them that protection.
Remove the soil from one side of the plant. Gently bend over the top and trunk and cover with soil. Some gardeners like to add a layer of leaves for further protection.
If winter snows or rains disturb the protection just add some more soil. Do not remove the soil covering until all danger of frost has passed. Then gently lift and straighten the tree; restake it; and it’s ready for another season of growth.
You can also obtain tree roses in miniature — just right for patio or greenhouse growing. Handle as a potted plant or plant them in the garden giving them the same care you accord the larger tree roses.
Tree roses come in a wide variety of forms and colors. In fact; you can choose just about any of your favorites and find them in tree form. Look through the catalogs and you’ll discover the rose you want in tree form.
Try a tree rose or two to give height to a border planting; use them as specimen plants; add them to a corner collection; plant them among your other roses; or use them to flank an entrance.
How much do these gorgeous creations cost? Usually only a few dollars more per plant than you would pay for a similar variety in the conventional size – and they are well worth the price.