crazy weather - and dealing with the damage

sunnysideuphill(5)December 4, 2011

Ok here in southern NH it has felt more like March/April than Nov/Dec lately. After the huge heavy wet snow of Oct 31, nothing! And of course, that snow flattened some roses that weren't even leafless yet. I hadn't even begun to remove the trellises and other supports that about six of the roses were on.

The 3' tall lanky Allegra is lying on the ground, after I removed her poor battered body from the trellis support - lots of those canes were snapped, as they were not able to go down naturally with the snow load. Nelson's Pride and Cinderella were large, lots of canes, but not on supports, and were able to go down gracefully, though they have not "bounced back" up. No visible cane breaks on those two. And the rest of the garden is somewhere between the Allegra/NP and C extremes. Example - one small Siren's Keep, about 18" tall with three canes, just getting established in this, its third year, has one cane bent in the middle; not broken, though.

Would you prune off broken canes now, or wait for spring pruning? It has finally started to get below freezing at night, and I am pretty sure that pruning won't trigger any new growth.

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I can't help you with the pruning, since I'm in Florida. Just wanted to say I admire the heck out of the perserverance and dedication of those of you in the north. I'm not sure I have the stamina to deal with what you deal with. I might not be a rose gardener if I lived in the north country.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 3:08PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Yes, prune off anything that's snapped or badly damaged right away. Those wounds are opportunities for diseases and insects to get in. If they're pencil size or bigger make sure you seal the cuts with something like nail polish. If it's just flattened and not broken I wouldn't worry about it not bouncing back now. It's too cold and there's very little light so they're not actively growing and probably won't come back up. But they should come back up in the spring like they normally would when they wake up and begin to grow again.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 5:22PM
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Hi Seil, that was what my gut has been telling me, too. Thanks for the confirmation. I will be able to do it all tomorrow, and we aren't supposed to get any precip until mid week, so no problem getting the sealant on the cuts.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 5:49PM
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