Prune roses when forsythia blooms, but don’t cut back climbing roses

rose climbing on trellis
This ‘Westerland’ climbing rose is shade tolerant, according to Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society. This is a view of it in her own yard. Photo courtesy Bonnie Vitale
closeup of Westerland rose
The ‘Westerland’ rose has a light tea scent. Photo courtesy Bonnie Vitale

Here are two tips from the Western New York Rose Society on pruning and planting roses.

Tip #1: Don’t prune or plant roses too soon. Wait until you see forsythia blooming in your neighborhood. When you see those yellow blossoms, you will know it’s the perfect time to start planting and pruning your roses.


From Steve Styn, Western New York Rose Society Rosarian

Tip #2: Don’t cut back your climbing roses. Just trim the brown tips off in the spring.  Your climbers bloom on the previous year’s growth. If you cut back too far you will lose blooms. If the canes get too long, tie them to the trellis.

From Richard Giese, Western New York Rose Society Rosarian

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