How to overwinter a tree rose in Richmond, B.C..

Discussion in 'Rosa (roses)' started by bowling, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. bowling

    bowling Member

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    Richmond, B.C.
    We recently purchased two rose trees. One we planted in the ground, the other in a large ceramic pot. The tree which is in the ground is near a fence, the other is mobile. Do we really have to bury them in a trench over the winter to ensure their survival? Or, can we wrap the top part of the tree loosely with burlap when it is very cold out? How cold? Thank you.
     

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  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Roses go dormant in winter. I don't think you will have to protect them in any way to overwinter them in Richmond. Roses generally take colder temps than we get around here. If there are extended days of freezing, roses planted in pots could be in danger--the roots could freeze. So try to keep that plant in a sheltered spot or insulate the pot somehow.
     
  3. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Langley, B.C. Stones throw from old HBC farm.
    Is this rose Livin' Easy? If so you might what to protect it if the tempature looks like it's going to drop below 20F/-7C.
     
  4. bowling

    bowling Member

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    Yes, it is Livin Easy. Do you have one or did you have one? Is/was it a standard/tree form? Thanks for the tip!
     
  5. valleygardener

    valleygardener Active Member

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    Where tree roses (standard roses) are concerned, the vulnerable part besides the roots is the graft at the top of the cane. This is the same as the graft on a bush rose where it is at ground level. ie: the desired cultivar is bud grafted onto an understock. So if you experience freezing weather this winter your tree rose will be at risk. After the loss of several tree roses when we have had severe winter weather, we finally decided to over winter our tree roses in our unheated garage and that has worked for us for many years now. We first strip the leaves and prune the tree, then give it a good spray with lime sulphur dormant oil. We then store it in the garage once freezing weather is forcast, usually sometime in November, where it is left until the following February depending on the weather. It will start to grow some leaves before it is removed from the garage, but that does no harm. If you can't do this, try to store it close to a building in a protected area.

    You could try wrapping the top with burlap too, but what we found is that the fluctuation in temperatures during our late winter/early spring prompted growth which under the darkness of burlap will produce long weak almost white growth. However you do it, be sure to protect the graft union as well as the roots.
     
  6. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    You pay a premium price for tree roses - so, added insurance to ensure a healthy rose is in order. Granted, Richmond is probably on the warmer side of USDA Zone 8 plant hardiness, but you do get that extra cold snap once every few years. You will only need one of those, especially if magnified by wind chill, to lose your tree roses. We lost our one and only tree rose about 6 years ago in the one year when we did not protect it.

    I agree with valleygardener's methods. But here is a light hearted look at the whole business of tree roses.

    Another option is to dig the whole rose up with a good root ball, contain the root ball in a burlap bag and bring the whole thing into an unheated frost free garage or shed. Whichever method you choose involves some work, but you only have to do this once in the winter, and replant in the spring.

    Another novel way of winter protection that I have seen one gardener do is to decorate the rose with a set of Christmas lights! Not the LED kind, the traditional incandescent, small bulb type. On really cold nights, he provided additional protection by temporarily wrapping a large piece of landscape fabric loosely around the whole thing. (Although white fabric row cover would have made a nicer spectacle, especially at night, lit from the inside with twinkling lights!)
     
  7. bowling

    bowling Member

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    Thanks for your info. valleygardener and Weekend Gardener. We're not sure which methods we will try. We have two tree roses, one in the ground and one in a huge pot but we don't want to risk losing either so we will definitely protect them. We'll be using two different methods so we will be able to see which method produces the best results. We'll let you know in the spring!
     
  8. valleygardener

    valleygardener Active Member

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    If you decide to store your tree rose indoors, it's very important not to let it dry out too much or to over water it. I have found if the pot is quite wet when it is stored, it doesn't need water until spring - at least under normal circumstances. Every garage is different so it will behoove you to pay attention the first time you try this method. You will then have a good idea of how it works for you. Also, sometimes, when we have a warmer than usual late winter, leaves will start to sprout and aphids can become a bit of a problem, although they are easy to deal with. Giving the plant a spray of dormant oil goes a long way in keeping aphids at bay.

    Another idea is that since you may only be dealing with one tree rose, if your energetic and pay attention to weather conditions, you could move it indoors only when necessary. Good luck!
     

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