Houzz Logo Print

EXTREME experiment with roses under tree

10 years ago

We have a truly gigantic Scarlet Oak tree in our front garden - it is at least 5 stories tall. Anyway, I have always wanted to have Fortune's Double Yellow, but all of the spaces in the sun with a large enough structure to climb on were already taken.

One day when out bicycling with my DH, we came across a FDY growing up and over several trees in an old park - with obviously no care. It was in full bloom and breathtaking. Looking more closely at the plant, it was totally healthy. I managed to root two cuttings from it, but what to do with them?

I once saw a FDY climbing way way up a large oak tree (not as large or dense as mine, however) at Pam's. It was blooming fine.

So, I decided on an experiment. We planted both tiny rooted cuttings at the base of our Scarlet Oak, obviously in full shade. The first year, one grew another 6 inches, and the other one just sat there - I thought it would die. The next Spring the first one produced 4 tiny blooms - as if it had been a bonsai - the other one did not bloom. After mostly sitting still for 4 years, this past Spring they both started to put on height, and for the first time they both put out some blooms. Amazing. My DH got some metal fence posts and leaned them up against the tree - both roses immediately put on about 12 inches more in height.

Here is a picture showing about the bottom fourth of the oak tree, and the bed at the bottom with the roses. I will post another more close-up picture of them next. So, I have now got great hopes for the future of these roses!

The next time a newbie asks questions on here about whether or not it is possible to grow a rose close to a tree trunk in deep shade, think of these....


Comments (8)