How Do I Prune Standard Roses?

Rose standards, or tree roses, are produced by hand-grafting a rose to the hearty stem of another variety of rose, which produces a plant with a tree-like appearance. Pruning is done to maintain shape and encourage blooming. Prune rose standards when they are dormant. You need clean hand pruners and disinfectant to use after each cut. Wear a long sleeved shirt with sturdy gloves, and plan for 1 to 2 hours of work.

  1. Remove undesirable stems

    Remove dead, damaged or wilted stems, and any thinner than a pencil. Remove those that point downward or grow inward, and the lesser stems at intersections, to prevent rubbing and disease. Make clean removal cuts by holding the shorter blade flush to the healthy branch.

  2. Prune the rose

    Make pruning cuts at a 45-degree angle, with the apex facing out, one-quarter of an inch above the joint. Aim for a rounded shape, and remove 8 to 10 inches of growth from the tree. Remove suckers and any unruly growth from the trunk.

  3. Maintain the rose

    Deadhead throughout the blooming season to encourage more buds. Remove faded roses promptly. Prune flowerless stems by cutting to the next grouping of five leaves. Remove all but one bud on a stem for a single, larger rose.