Pruning Newly Planted Roses
Ramblers and climbers of both types are best left unpruned the first year of planting beyond cutting out in February any dead wood. Dwarf bushin the first spring of planting should be pruned back fairly hard, ie. back to within three or four eyes of their base so as to force new basal shoots in order to build up a bushy tree. In poor soils, however, such as that of London, it is best to prune them as lightly as possible, as the food in the old stems will tide the trees over the critical months of April and May until the roots become established. It has been found that in poor soils, where trees do not readily become established and the top growth in consequence dies back, if little wood is left as the result of hard the die-back often reaches the union and kills the tree before the roots have an opportunity of functioning, hence the reason for light pruning. Once the trees have started into growth they can be gone over and any dead wood removed.
During the four to six weeks after the trees have broken into growth, it is necessary to examine periodically the new shoots for frost damage. When this happens, the eye will normally break afresh if damaged early, and two or three growths will come from the one eye. If all of these are left the result will be a number of spindly growths, which is not to be desired, therefore rub out the surplus shoots so that only one is left from each eye. When the shoot is some 2 inches or more long when frost damage occurs, the only thing to do is to watch the individual shoots, and if they do not grow on but remain weakly, removed them entirely. Unless the frost, however, is very severe they normally recover from the damage, although many will come blind.