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final thoughts/survey request for oldest tree rose-zone 5-6

12 years ago

I have seen too many posts of late from people wanting to grow tree roses in zone 5-6.

I adore tree roses and will always have 2 hybrid tea tree roses in my garden. But this comes with the realization that tree roses will probably have a very limited life in my garden.

Wise experts like Karl suggest not! having tree roses save for the very hardy Polar Joy and he has already mentioned that his is going on 5 years.

In Kansas, the private nursery folks say that tree roses are very difficult in our region, and it's best to just view them as I do, they're gorgeous but have a limit to their lifespan. Would anyone like to post their brag on a zone 5 tree rose that has lasted 12 years or so? Please give the details--the type of tree rose, your cold zone details etc. I am especially interested in the hybrid tea tree rose. I won't be getting any others besides the hybrid teas or the antiques, but I don't think you can find old-garden tree roses in the U.S...

In my limited experience what makes hybrid tea tree roses difficult in zone 5/6 and colder is that their graft is exposed to the elements. If you get heavy rains and constant just-above-freezing-chills in November, the chances of canker skyrocket. The problem is that the canker starts very close to the bud union because all that rain is getting soaked into that bud union and it weakens the rose. Note bringing them in when it hits freezing point just isn't good enough when you are being drenched with constant cold-weather rains. In my limited experience, chilly just-above-freezing rains can still do damage. You can overwinter them in the garage (pots), but for borderline zone 5-6 our winters are just too long for the roses and certain roses just hate to be overwintered in the garage (an unrelated example--my vigorous Climbing America threw a fit when I overwintered it in my garage and my equally vigorous Penny Lane did just fine). So perhaps there are those of you who chose more hardier hybrid tea tree roses than what I chose.

Also I consulted a British nursery expert who told me that the graft you get on your tree rose is the graft that you are stuck with. That graft will not enlarge or attain mass. So be sure to select the largest graft possible on your tree rose. Make sure no canes are crossing, etc. etc. etc.

I think someone also mentions how important pruning is as well for the health of the tree rose and cutting them back during the winter. I left my severe pruning until early spring, because I thought that was the ideal time like my outdoor roses. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I realize now for cold zone folks that winter is when you need to cut them down!

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