Pruning Roses

By Susan Crevensten of the Fairbanks Garden Club

The Fairbanks Garden Club would like to share some pruning tips that we learned at our last meeting up at the Botanical Gardens.  Janet Matheson presented the program on “Pruning Roses” for the Monthly meeting.

To begin, Janet advised sharp pruners, a pair of “loppers” (long-handled pruners) and over-the-wrist gloves when getting ready to prune roses.  With these tools in hand, the first step in pruning is to remove the horizontal branches.  These branches confuse the shape of the bush and will not produce a finished appearance.  Secondly, clean out the leaves or weeds at the bottom of the bush.  Look for suckers to remove.  Also, look for dead rose stalks at the bottom and remove.  Looking upward at the bush, remove any dead branches as well.

Now you have removed the obvious unwanted branches of the rose.  Look for branches that are too close together and remove one of them.  Take a look at the bush and remove any branches that are touching or too close to the ground.  This is hard to do because you may be removing a very large branch!  It’s an important step. “Be brutal” is the advice Janet gave us.  The shape of the plant will depend on your pruning.  Lastly, cut off the tips of the rose to give shape to the bush.  It doesn’t require much, but a few nips can bring the shape into focus.

Happy Pruning!  Thank you Janet!!

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