cut away woody growth on roses before transplanting?


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I am rescuing some roses from a neighbour's yard. They are "quite mature" (and I know they may not survive) and so they have a lot of woody growth. They have been untended for a few years now. There are two identifiable roses - Tiffany (HT), and Lilian Austin (shrub).
My question: should I cut off the woody growth before transplanting? If so, just the growth above ground? By woody growth, I don't mean dead branches, I mean big chunks of dead wood at the very base of the plant.
Thanks,
Catherine
 
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If the wood is dead, sure. But don't cut any live wood because it is too close to freezing weather and new growth being frozen will damage the plant overall. Please update your profile as to where you live and your hardiness zone. The advice on your roses will not be pertinent if you live where it never frosts or freezes
 
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Thanks, I will get out the sawsall. It sometimes freezes here, but we are several hundred degrees away from that today!
 
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