Dumb question: what's the point of a tripod?

sherryocalaAugust 18, 2007

Just saw Jeri's photo of Excellenz von Schubert in her reply to a *Question about containers for roses* posted today. Gorgeous rose, no question, but it was overflowing that tripod rather wildly. If that's the desired effect, great. I want it but how? We just put a tripod around a young Prosperity, and the poor thing looks embarrassed. It was laying long canes all over the place before but looks puny tied up to the rebar. I tried wrapping it. Apparently, it is something for which I have no talent. Did you let the rose grow up and out the middle and just tack it to the rebar in a few places? One of the large canes threw off side shoots 180 degrees from each other parallel to the ground. I wrapped one and let the other go across the middle. My thought was to establish some horizontal canes to get the side shoots going, and there is new growth on the canes not just at the tips. I hate fumbling around ignorantly! I need a seminar. Thanks!

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jerijen(Zone 10)

Sherry -- I started wrapping EvS as soon as it had a few long canes.
I will say modestly that I did this ALL BY MYSELF. Well, Clay put the poles up.
You can't do much until the plant HAS some long canes. Once it DOES, position the tripod so that the plant is on the outside of one of the "legs."
Wrap the canes "barberpole" fashion, angling upward as you go around. Every time you come to a pole, TIE the cane to it.
As the rose produces more canes, you may find yourself tying a cane to another cane, but Keep the canes close to horizontal, but ALWAYS ANGLE UPWARD.
Remember that a new, immature rose won't look as "full" as a mature one. That EvS is probably 8-9 years old now, and every winter I re-tie it.
Some roses are better suited to this treatment than others. Some don't get enough cane length.
Others have canes which are long, but STIFF. With these, the tripod treatment may not be an easy thing to do.
And roses with massive prickles are NOT a pleasure to get intimate with.
The overall appearance of the "finished product" will change with every passing year, as the rose grows and matures.
And remember that the end effect will be different with different cultivars.

Jeri

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 7:10PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

And then there's the save a rose use.
Leander in its early years made really big long canes, and the whole plant wanted to topple over, pulling roots out of the rather thin top soil in which it was (and continues to ) thrive.
So we put up a tripod of copper tubing (which was relatively cheap then).
Leander continues to grow. And is now firmly seated in the clay under the top soil. And there are three copper pipes in there, somewhere, that are no longer useful. But they were the architecturally most efficient way to shore up a big rose on a hillside.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 7:35PM
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sherryocala

Well, what do you know! I didn't screw up! Thanks for the lesson, Jeri & Ann. But I didn't like the part *and every winter I re-tie it*. You trying to get me killed?
What do you use for ties? And do you use the gauntlet gloves? I may have to spring for a pair. These soon-to-be beautiful plants are deadly. And, OK, I accept prickles on the canes, but it really aggravates me when they have them on the leaves. Those buggers hurt! Needless to say, I don't have gloves on all the time. They're pretty clunky.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 8:49PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Sherry, you're right. It's those SNEAKY prickles that are the worst.
EvS is really easy to re-tie. Not many prickles there -- but a couple of "anonymous" roses here are downright scary.
The re-tie isn't that bad. It's more re-adjusting. Not a complete re-do.
And I use that soft plastic tape to tie with.
Like a lot of plastic, the stuff lasts forever, and it doesn't hurt the canes.
(DH loves that plastic chain, but I find it awkward to work with, and I think it scrapes canes.)
Oh, yeah. I have these dandy gauntlet gloves -- heavy goatskin, with roughout gauntlets.
They're gray, and they're called (sappily) "Rose Lovers" gloves.
They're not screamingly pricey. I love them.

Jeri

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 11:14PM
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cemeteryrose(USDA 9/Sunset 14)

I try to tie the canes in one direction only - clockwise, counterclockwise, makes no difference - it makes it easier to retie the next year. It really isn't so hard to retie in the winter, so long as you don't get things too tangled. Having two people work together is ideal (one to hold, one to tie).

You're right about getting stuck doing this, though. I tied Cristata around a tripod last winter and it was a masochistic experience. Those prickles are like needles - but the rose was so gorgeous this spring that I forgot the pain (like childbirth, I guess) -
Anita
Anita

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 12:46AM
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sherryocala

Thanks again, Jeri, for more good information. One little question: why is there a need to re-adjust? Canes dying, I'm guessing. Maybe lack of symmetry. Not having seen one in person is tough. I wish there were more photos available of whole bushes - not just the flower, which can be totally deceptive because you can't even tell the size of the bloom.
Anita, now that I've got it started I will try to keep going in one direction.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 3:20PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

>> why is there a need to re-adjust?

*** As you suspected, canes get old, wear out, and are removed.
In some cases, canes put out lateral growth so vigorous that it needs to be worked into the sculpture.

And remember that every one of these will look a bit different on a tripod, because the plants themselves are of different habit.
I will try to get you a couple more images of whole plants on tripods. Later today, maybe, if I can face the heat on the hillside.
There are other ways to do this, too. At the Sacramento City Cemetery, I think one collected banksiae is
"girdled" with a "fence" of wiremesh, which it hangs over. A great way to "tame" a plant. Yes. Here it is:

Jeri

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 4:27PM
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sherryocala

Oooh, thanks for that photo, Jeri. That is quite an interesting specimen on several levels. I like this idea. I was trying to think of something that would accomplish this effect for my Penelope. A ring of some sort but how to make it? But this will work better - about 3 ft tall would be good, I think.

And, hey, don't go out there on my account. I was just out watering. That 5 o'clock sun will melt ya, even with a nice breeze. Save yourself!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 5:38PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Didn't have to go down there after all.
Here are two other roses we have on tripods, so you can see how different they are.

In the middle of this "Unreleased Climber" you can just see the three poles it is tied to:

grows canes maybe 8-10 ft long, and puts out long laterals which end in football-sized sprays.
Canes are marginally lax enough to train. It is covered with big, terrifying prickles.
I think it would espalier along a fence, but I don't have one for it. It's very vigorous with lots and lots of laterals and thick with foliage.
The tripod is just visible in there. This is as full as Excellenz von Schubert

The other one (see link below) came to us mis-named. I think this is the rose ARE sells as "Baty's Pink Pillar."
Canes are long, lax, and trainable, and foliage is sparser. This one is easier to work with.

Jeri

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 6:29PM
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sherryocala

Re "Unreleased Climber", am I seeing less horizontal wrapping? That's the way the bottom half looks to me. I can't tell what's going on in the top half. It all looks looser and more V-shaped.

Is the "NOT Hugh Dickson" a much younger plant than EvS? Does NHD show a younger perspective, i.e., less foliage, wider spacing of canes, fewer canes, a more haphazard appearance that will fill in over the years?

I've been watering Prosperity (and everything else) much more lately. Maybe that's why I'm seeing a lot of laterals. I'm waiting for the weather to cool down so it will fill in and I'll be able to see better what it's doing. These laterals are only about 3 inches long. I'm assuming they will grow long, but maybe not. On Golden Showers (my only other climber experience) the laterals grew maybe 2 ft and terminated in a flower(s).

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 7:14PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Yes. Less horizontal wrap with "Unreleased" because the canes are not very flexible. So you're fighting it, and it's fighting back. Yet, as you see, it produces a lot of bloom, and it does not reach out and grab you when you pass by. Those were my goals.

As for "Not HD," no. It's fairly bare-caned like that. It's a rather strange rose, but mostly disease-free (here), and the blooms are lovely.
I think it's got some odd combination of old and modern genes that make it work in conflict to itself, in some ways.

Jeri

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 9:19PM
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sherryocala

So the gist of it is to get as horizontal (still slanting upward) as the canes will allow. If they don't allow it, let it be, and it will do what it does. If it's not a leafy rose, then enjoy the structure and the blooms. So it must be that rose genetics cause it to have more or less apical dominance, and those with less are more inclined to send out laterals even when vertical. Does it follow that if you go where the canes lead you, you can't be wrong? And if you don't like it, retie it in the winter. Sounds like a no-pressure deal to me. BTW, where is it written what each climber is like? Oh, yeah, the canes will tell me - or is that too simple. Or maybe I should just ask Jeri.

OK, I won't move Sombreuil. I'll put down more mulch and water a lot. How's that?

I really do appreciate your time today, Jeri. I learned a lot and feel more confident about climbers. Of course, if my above conclusions were wrong, you'll correct me, right?
Thanks again.
Sherry

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:30PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Your conclusions sound right, I think!

And I think you're right about apical dominance. Why else would there BE such things as pillar climbers that go up and bloom along their length?

And here's the cool part:
1. As long as you don't cut a bunch off, you can always change what you've done.
2. If you learn new things, you get to share them forward.

Jeri

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 11:00PM
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sherryocala

I'd love to know someone to share them with. My DH has been really attentive and listens to everything, but football has just started so...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 11:18PM
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Terry Crawford

Deb - found this in my favorites that I bookmarked.

I need to add a tripod to Prairie Princess in the spring, so I'll be trying to figure it out myself. Hope this helps answers your questions.
-terry

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 6:34PM
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kristimama

HI all,
Can you achieve the same effect of "wrapping" Excellenz Von Schubert around a wrought iron pillar/obeslisk. (I'm thinking of those 5-6' store bought, OSH or Home Depot type obelisks). Or is there something with it being rebar in a tripod shape? (Or maybe the rebar makes it stronger, for larger plants?) Does EvS need to the strength of rebar?

Thanks,
KMama

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:51AM
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kristimama

Apologies in advance if this ends up duplicating, but I had a problem confirming my post... hope it doesn't submit twice.

Can you achieve the same effect of "wrapping" Excellenz Von Schubert around a wrought iron pillar/obeslisk. (I'm thinking of those 5-6' store bought, OSH or Home Depot type obelisks). Or is there something with it being rebar in a tripod shape? (Or maybe the rebar makes it stronger, for larger plants?) Does EvS need to the strength of rebar, or would a cheaper metal prefab obelisk do the job?
Thanks,
KMama

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 3:16AM
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