That depends on where you live. In California, I have seen gorgeous tree roses and plenty of them. In New York, only few people grow them. Why? “Tree roses are hard to grow.” This is what most people will say. Tree roses make the garden more interesting. They give height to the garden and make the garden quite extraordinary.
Tree roses are created by double-grafting in order to get the needed trunk. A tall-growing rose variety is budded to a root stock. R. multiflora, R. canina and R. laxa are used for the stem because they will grow strong, straight and high in one season. This variety should be able to expand in diameter to support the rose variety that will be budded onto it. The rose stem is budded at the desired height from a foot to 6 ft but usually 3 ½ feet tall from the ground. Some tall tree roses have weepers budded in them and they make great specimen plant. The taller ones have to be staked to protect them from the wind which can break the stem and kill the plant. Any suckers from the stem should be cut off right away so they will not take strength from the top growth.
To form a symmetrical round head, two, three or four buds are inserted and then trained to give the desired effect. Careful consideration is given in selecting the right rose variety for the top section. Most Hybrid Tea and Floribunda varieties are good candidates. I have seen David Austin roses as tree roses but they get too top-heavy. Some suppliers use several varieties but it is recommended that they be of similar growth habit or complimentary colors that are pleasing to the eye.
For winter protection, it is recommended to loosen the roots on about half of the tree so you can bend it over and lay it down on the ground and then cover completely with soil. In spring, straighten up the tree, tamp the roots down and stake it and you’re done. A friend of mine in New York has a dozen or so of tree roses in pots and all he does in winter is put them all in the garage and they survive the winter.
A tree rose or what they call standard is so special and beautiful that you don’t think it is too much work to grow them
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- PLANTING BARE-ROOT ROSES
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