Planting/Training a Rose to Grow Up a Tree

Sow_what? Southern California InlandApril 20, 2014

I've read everything I can find about planting and training a rose to grow up a tree (unfortunately, not much). Does anyone have an opinion whether and how to do this with Souvenir de la Malmaison climber?

Thanks,
jannike

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jerijen(Zone 10)

That's not the rose I would choose for that duty. I don't think she would appreciate the reduction in sun and air flow, involved it getting there.

Big ramblers do it quite naturally. The banksiae's do it. In the photo below, you see R. banksia lutea (Yellow Lady Banks) climbing through and above a pair of ficus trees. Though you can't see it from that angle White Lady Banks is there, too.

These roses take off into any tree, if they are close enough to it. Here, they jumped a fence and leaped into the trees, with no assistance from us.

Jeri

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 5:56PM
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jacqueline9CA

How big is the tree? If it is very large, and you don't want a once bloomer, I would plant Madame Alfred Carriere, which loves to climb in big trees and blooms for 11 months here.

If it is a smaller tree, let us know how big it is and how much sun it gets, and you will get other suggestions.

I agree with Jeri that SdlM would not be my choice, as it is way more difficult to keep happy.

Jackie

Jackie

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 6:30PM
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sidos_house

Jannike,

I posed a similar question last year and had some wonderful suggestions. See luxrosa's comments in particular.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/rosesant/msg0718563412001.html

I followed her advice and planted two Albertines to climb a couple of cedars. The roses are doing really well so far.

I hope this helps. Roses climbing trees is just one of those very romantic things. MAC was another one I considered, which would have worked. Climbing Dainty Bess was yet another, which would not have worked! I don't know what I was thinking. My imagination got the better of me once again.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:39PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Jeri, Jackie, and Sidos:

Thanks so much for your help. I'm very much looking forward to trying climbing SdlM, and don't want to make a big mistake due to my inexperience. But now I have two issues. One is finding a good spot for SdlM Cl. If this rose won't do well climbing a tree due to shade and circulation problems, it sounds like it might not do well climbing an arbor with other roses against a wall either? If that's true, where can I use SdlM Cl? I don't have many spots left where I can plant roses this year.

The second issue is finding a good rose for the tree. Jackie, the tree will not be very big. It's a Jacaranda that's being dwarfed to about 15' (don't ask -- I have a bonsai/arborist/friend that's helping me with an experiment). The tree also doesn't cast dense shade. I'm hoping that through our very hot summers, the light might be just right for roses, but I'm a risk taking optimist, and I fall on my face a lot. If ramblers are good for tree climbing duty, do you think the new David Austin Albrighton Rambler might be a possibility, assuming it does well in a hot, dry climate? I also noticed someone on this forum who is close to me in location and climate, and she is growing a Baty's Pink Pillar in a tree, but that is a rose I haven't been able to find. Any of the very large climbers will likely overwhelm the tree. Jeri, I really like the idea of a rose that'll jump to it, wind itself prettily around the trunk and limbs, and bloom away all year long, with no help from me. But I'm also willing to do the work if I can find a good rose for this job. Sidos -- I hear you! My imagination gets the better of me all too frequently. Occasionally that works to my benefit.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:26PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

What is your vision for the rose in the tree? Canes dangling down from the canopy of the tree or climbing the trunk?

For trunk climbers, Austins like James Galoway, Crocus Rose and Bishops Castle would all rather be about 8 feet tall here.

Not sure if Renae would dangle or not, but it is thornless

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:20AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

A Jacaranda would work well I think, they cast only light shade and have an open structure--but keeping one to 15 feet, good luck with that. That's a two story house in the photo:

A while back there was a shot of 'Renae' at Ralph Moore's property just after he passed away--the rose looked to be 40'x40'. It draped fine and dandy at that size.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:41AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Kippy, the tree is multi-trunked, and doesn't have many branches, so it's a very open structure that filters sunlight just enough to take the edge off the heat. How long the tree will live at this size is anyone's guess. Hoovb, it does not look like the Jacaranda in your photo at all, other than bloomwise in late spring. My vision was to plant the rose about two feet from the trunk, train the rose toward and part way up the trunk with a stick, and then wind the canes up the trunk and a branch or two, sort of the way you wind a rose around a 4x4 to pillar it. Dangling and draping canes might also be very pretty.

What are the conditions Souvenir de la Malmaison climber will need in order to remain happy and healthy? Can it be pillared?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:52AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

I trained SDLM up a pomegranate tree. It grew fast and was soon hanging out of it's branches. Unfortunately, it did not look at all pretty, because it hung on to it's spent blooms.
It was impossible to reach to dead head it and I got fed up with looking at brown, dead blooms.
I dug it up and gave it away.
Daisy

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Daisy, how tall was the pomegranate, and about how long did your SdlM get? Do you think it would have been pretty growing in the tree if it was deadheaded?

Thanks,
jannike

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Daisy, do you have any pictures of the SdlM in the pomegranate?

A pomegranate typically is way more dense and shade producing than the tree I have. My tree has few branches, and ferny, open foliage.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:31AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

One rose that I know repeats through most of the year, and which WILL climb a tree is, somewhat surprisingly, 'Mutabilis.' If you plant it up next to a tree, it climbs.

Jeri

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:38PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Thank you, Jeri. I've heard nothing but good about Mutabilis, and am wondering how I've made it this far into life without exposure to all the exquisite roses I'm learning about on this forum. I want this whole world of beauty to instantaneously unfold before me, so I can gobble it up and make the right choices on the spot. Thanks to those who so generously share on this forum, I've made surprisingly good choices so far. I'm stunned, over and over, as I go out into the garden and find yet another bloom from a new rose open, and I fall in love with the color and the perfume and the form --- much different than my first experience with roses not too many years ago.

Anyway, I've been so corrupted (aka "enabled") here, I'm now plotting how to grow roses up trees, on the roof, across the public sidewalk, and in the neighboring properties.

I think the first thing I need to do is find the best placement for the SdlM climber I have here. Next I need to find places where I can stuff Duchesse de Brabant, Souvenir de la Malmaison (a definite must-have), Strawberry Hill, Madame Alfred Carriere, Albrighton Rambler, Mutabilis . . . . . . . . . . no no no no no. What I really need to do is define the places where roses should be planted this season. And then learn which roses will perform smashingly in those spots. And then among those, choose the ones I fall in love with.

Any more suggestions for roses that will perform well growing up a tree in my hot, dry climate will be tremendously appreciated. And I'll post my questions about where to plant SdlM climber in a separate post.

Thanks,
jannike

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 3:45AM
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lazy_gardens

It's not good for the tree ... makes it difficult to prune the tree, traps debris and moisture on the bark, and can break branches if the rose gets large.

Pruning the rose is a PITA also - they die off or break in a storm and you are stuck with a dead cane you can't prune because you can't reach it.

Then, when the dead stuff on the bottom gets thick enough, the whole mess collapses and falls on the ground.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 4:20AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Good point about pruning the tree. That will definitely be trickier. But pruning and deadheading the rose should not be a problem since the tree is small and all parts are reachable.

What do others who have roses growing in trees do?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:22AM
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kittymoonbeam

Jeri is right about the tree being large. I think this is the hardest part of the project. Most jacarandas grow weird straight sprouting limbs after being pruned and not the pretty slow winding growth that natural growth gives. I saw this first hand on mine after dad had it trimmed. I was finally able to remove those ugly limbs years later.

But if you want to try I think you should. I tried a MAC in a plum and it went through it in no time and now makes a comfortable home along the eaves but still spills through the tree a little and looks pretty. A jacaranda and rose combination sounds beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:14PM
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muscovyduckling(Melbourne, Australia)

One rose that people sometimes use for growing into trees here in Australia is a climber called Lorraine Lee. It was bred by an Aussie fellow so I don't know if it's readily available in the States. It seems to do well in out hot, dry conditions here, although I haven't grown it personally (have ordered it though, it's coming in 3 months!). A lot of folks like it because it blooms here is winter and it's semi-evergreen for us.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:56AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Kiitymoonbeam, the outcome of this tree project is definitely questionable, but we thought it was worth trying since the tree was slated to be removed anyway -- so we shall see. I feel it's quite unsightly at this stage, but a visitor just yesterday said she loved the eerie feel it lended the garden.

Muscovyduckling, thanks for the information about Lorraine Lee! I'll definitely check it out.

jannike

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:52AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

My SDLM was climbing the pomegranate tree for four years.
It was branching well throughout the tree and both tree and rose were growing well. The pomegranate tree is about 25 to 30 feet tall.
Here it is to-day. It is morning here and the sun is behind it, so it is not the best of photos.


I did not take a photo of it with SDLM, but if you can imagine elegant branches hanging from the tree, festooned with scrunched up brown paper bags, that is what it looked like.
Daisy

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 3:24AM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

LOL! Reality is a real bummer sometimes isn't it!
Good luck Sow! Better to try and fail then not to try at all!
Susan

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

One of the neighbors hates light colored roses, says they look like used tissues stuffed in the shrubs......

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:39PM
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Patricia43(z8 AL)

Lady Devoiensis, LaMarque, Fortuniana, Lady Banks, American Pillar, New Dawn, Alberic Barbier and Paul's Himalayan Musk are all growing, not only into my trees, but in my neighbor's trees as well. I did not train them. They have their own wheels. Just plant them (nearby) and they will come (to the trees).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Kippy and Daisy, used tissue and scrunched up brown paper bags are not the images I'm dreaming of for the climbing SdlM. Thanks for the heads up.

Susan, at some points failure starts getting old (lol). It can however, occasionally lead to spectacular successes.

Patricia, thanks for all the suggestions. I look forward to checking out these roses tomorrow night.

Thanks everyone,

jannike

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:46AM
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