My Abraham Darby rose needs pruned way back but as usual I didn't do it last year and now it's April. Is it too late since I see leaf buds on the canes.
Not at all. I do my rose pruning around this time of the year. Go ahead.
I pruned my peace roses today. they were getting out of control so I cut them back to about 3' tall. They're gonna be happy that I did. IMHO now is the perfect time for zone 5
My AD has such tall canes but every Spring there are dead ones so I do cut those out. I just hate the thought of cutting back those long canes, even though I know it would be healthier for the plant and I'd get more bloom. Have had problems with black spot too. Well, guess I'll go get the pruners - eek.
Now sounds like the perfect time in your zone to prune, Schoolhouse. Just when new growth is appearing but before it becomes leafy.
Except for spring-blooming only rose (old garden roses), I start pruning mine back in early spring (March here), but prune and pinch back as needed throughout the growing season. (Prune and feed once a month through the growing season, makes beautiful bushes and lots of blooms.
You just need to stop pruning in late summer or early fall so the roses have time to heal over the cut edges before fall frosts or snows arrive. Otherwise those fresh cut ends will collect water and rot in winter time.
All my rose cuttings that are long enough (6 inches or so) go into containers with sandy soil to root.
If I had an Abraham Darby, I would try to root ALL the prunings and fill my garden with those delicious roses.
Good luck schoolhouse!