suckers on hard to access ,very old container C.I.: questions


I have been reading here about how to address suckers (very informative).

We have a very old Chrysler Imperial which has been slowing down, and which may also have suckers. It's in a pot and has almost certainly rooted through the bottom. It is in the middle of a shrub and a bit hard to get to.

Although I may also try to start some cuttings, I am mulling the idea of breaking off the roots at the bottom of the container by tipping it over (if I can, unless I find a saw), yanking the whole plant out, and, I hope, determining which shoots are suckers, stomping them off, and then putting it back in the pot.

I've never done this before and I have some questions.

Roses don't get dormant here - is this as good a time as any? Will the shock kill the plant? (I imagine at this point, it won't have many roots in the pot anymore, so I expect I can just plunk it in a bucket while I evaluate it.)

If I committed to examining it a lot more carefully, could I differentiate between C.I and suckers, just from leaves? (Not that there are that many.) How reliable is that? It is a very old plant ... I am not sure I'll be able to see a graft. Though perhaps after I clean it up.

Factoid: that foil bit is from where I tried to do an air-layer a couple years ago. Then I got distracted, then the gardener cut it off anyway. But, the roses from the straight-up, sucker-looking shoot I tried to air-layer - which looked like that one sticking up there now - did in fact smell marvelous. We've had this rose so long there is no chance of remembering where we bought it, if it was own-root or what-all.

Sorry about the bad photo - there are a ton of weeds in the pot too, it's pretty hard to see anything. I just thought it might add perspective. (I'm trying to talk myself up into actually doing something. It is a wee bit fearsome of a task, but when it blooms the scent is amazing - I feel I owe it to the plant, if it's reasonably doable.)

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