Woody Roses


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We have two rose bushes that I dont think have ever been trimmed. They dont produce more than 2-3 roses and they look terrible. Can I save it? Or would trimming it back now just kill the whole thing? I dont want the bush to be as tall as the window like that but my sister wants me to try to salvage it rather than take it out. Any advice? TIA!
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We have two rose bushes that I dont think have ever been trimmed. They dont produce more than 2-3 roses and they look terrible. Can I save it? Or would trimming it back now just kill the whole thing? I dont want the bush to be as tall as the window like that but my sister wants me to try to salvage it rather than take it out. Any advice? TIA!
View attachment 2616
Where do you live and what is the average date of your last freeze? Is it a grafted rose or an own root rose? If you can't tell dig some dirt away from the base and take another pic. If it is an own root rose you can cut it completely down and it will resprout. If it is a grafted rose immediately cut 1/3 of off each of the smaller branches and cut the larger branch to match the others. Then next year you can trim it way back.
 
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Thanks. I dont know the difference but I dug a couple inches down and took a pic. I didn't go further because it was starting to tilt Verdict? I dont know what the guy next to it is but I dont think its roses lol They make for a scraggly pair and whatever that grass is at the base there sucks too. Ive been pulling it out every day but the roots are everywhere! Im hoping to smother it when we can get mulch
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That is a grafted rose. That other stuff I haven't a clue except it could maybe possibly be a china berry tree, but cut it off below ground level, cover the entire area except the rose bush with heavy plastic and cover the plastic with mulch. Fertilize the base area of the rose bush and follow previous instructions
 
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funkelt - As Chuck has already mentioned - your roses can very definitely be saved - however as the best treatment very much depends on what type of rose it is and as it is very hard to tell from your pictures - whether it is a hybrid tea or floribunda gone wild or a standard that is just a bit unruly - wondered if you know which one it is.

The reason being that if it was a hybrid tea or floribunda rose that has never been pruned - it would look much like the one in your photo - with all the growth at the top - which is not where it should be and the best way of reviving a rose like this - would be to cut the whole rose back so that the main stem was roughly 30cm in height - as this would allow the rose to branch out at a lower level and become more bush like - as well as give it more energy to produce new shoots and blooms - whereas if it is actually standard rose that you have which is meant to have growth at the top - it would be best to first take out all the dead wood and any weak or spindly branches and then cut all the remaining branches back by at least half :)

As to what the plant is in your second picture - am thinking that it looks very much like a Robinia Pseudoacacia - which is a very attractive smallish tree and definitely one that I think you'll probably want to keep - as even though there are many, many different varieties of these trees - they all look stunning from an early age :)
 
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no idea what kind it is! everything was overgrown when I got here and I only just got into gardenIng. im excited that there was already such a variety! its been awesome, I'm geeking out lol
 
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no idea what kind it is! everything was overgrown when I got here and I only just got into gardenIng. im excited that there was already such a variety! its been awesome, I'm geeking out lol
Don't do anything yet. I am sending pics a little later so gata montes can get a look. I think I know what's what, but need a little verification
 
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funkelt - As Chuck has already mentioned - your roses can very definitely be saved - however as the best treatment very much depends on what type of rose it is and as it is very hard to tell from your pictures - whether it is a hybrid tea or floribunda gone wild or a standard that is just a bit unruly - wondered if you know which one it is.

The reason being that if it was a hybrid tea or floribunda rose that has never been pruned - it would look much like the one in your photo - with all the growth at the top - which is not where it should be and the best way of reviving a rose like this - would be to cut the whole rose back so that the main stem was roughly 30cm in height - as this would allow the rose to branch out at a lower level and become more bush like - as well as give it more energy to produce new shoots and blooms - whereas if it is actually standard rose that you have which is meant to have growth at the top - it would be best to first take out all the dead wood and any weak or spindly branches and then cut all the remaining branches back by at least half :)

As to what the plant is in your second picture - am thinking that it looks very much like a Robinia Pseudoacacia - which is a very attractive smallish tree and definitely one that I think you'll probably want to keep - as even though there are many, many different varieties of these trees - they all look stunning from an early age :)
Not the best pics in the world but aren't these pics the same as that unknown thing next to the rose bush?
 

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could be, it looks the same to me. what is it?
A really nice bush/tree called a Mountain Laurel. When they bloom the flowers smell just like grape coolaid. Here in Texas they are pretty expensive to purchase because they are next to impossible to transplant which means growing them from seed and because they are very slow growers. That little bush in the pic I started from seed 9 years ago and it has buds on it for the first time. They are evergreen and the flowers/blooms are long purple/bluish. They are virtually maintenance free and are extremely drought tolerant and long lived.
 
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A really nice bush/tree called a Mountain Laurel. When they bloom the flowers smell just like grape coolaid. Here in Texas they are pretty expensive to purchase because they are next to impossible to transplant which means growing them from seed and because they are very slow growers. That little bush in the pic I started from seed 9 years ago and it has buds on it for the first time. They are evergreen and the flowers/blooms are long purple/bluish. They are virtually maintenance free and are extremely drought tolerant and long lived.
After further checking I don't think they can be the same unless you live in Texas or New Mexica. I think Gata Montes is correct. It is probably a Black Locust which will also be very very nice to have in your landscape. They look a lot alike
 
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Looking at the pictures you posted Chuck - I still feel more than sure that funkelt's unidentified shrub/tree belongs to the Robinia family - as I originally said and looks something like this

Robinia Hispida - Macrophylla.jpeg


which I think you would agree looks very similar to yours - but as to exactly which variety it is am not sure - as it would be difficult to say until the tree/shrub had matured a bit or had some flowers :)

If you don't think its a Robinia - what do you think it is then ?
 
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Looking at the pictures you posted Chuck - I still feel more than sure that funkelt's unidentified shrub/tree belongs to the Robinia family - as I originally said and looks something like this

View attachment 2625

which I think you would agree looks very similar to yours - but as to exactly which variety it is am not sure - as it would be difficult to say until the tree/shrub had matured a bit or had some flowers :)

If you don't think its a Robinia - what do you think it is then ?
I think you are correct. I believe Mountain Laurel (calia secundiflora) only grows in alkaline soil in portions of Texas and New Mexico. It is amazing how much alike they are. Are the flowers on yours aromatic?
 
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Thanks guys. Im in virginia so I dont get grape kool aid flowers :'( I'm very jealous now. It would seem that my bush has gotten woody like the roses because the ones in gatas pictures are shorter abd more dense. I don't want to cut it though, the little leaves look so vibrant and happy despite its poopy living conditions. this guy is a survivor!
 
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Thanks guys. Im in virginia so I dont get grape kool aid flowers :'( I'm very jealous now. It would seem that my bush has gotten woody like the roses because the ones in gatas pictures are shorter abd more dense. I don't want to cut it though, the little leaves look so vibrant and happy despite its poopy living conditions. this guy is a survivor!
I think what gata montes is the genus of plants, robina. There are a bunch of bushes and trees in that genus.. I think what you have is a black locust. It is a gorgeous tree. I would rather have a black locust any day over a rose bush.
 
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black locust cant be right. I googled it and theyre trees. My little guy is no thicker than the rose bush and branches at the base. Like you say gata, ill wait till it gets more growth or flowers and post again. and chuck, I really really want that kool aid smelling plant
 
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black locust cant be right. I googled it and theyre trees. My little guy is no thicker than the rose bush and branches at the base. Like you say gata, ill wait till it gets more growth or flowers and post again. and chuck, I really really want that kool aid smelling plant
I am afraid you will have to move to the Texas Hill Country to get a grape koolaid smelling plant. Gboogle robina genus photos which includes black locust. I'll just bet that what you have is one of those flowering trees albeit forsaken and not taken care of.
 
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black locust cant be right. I googled it and theyre trees. My little guy is no thicker than the rose bush and branches at the base. Like you say gata, ill wait till it gets more growth or flowers and post again. and chuck, I really really want that kool aid smelling plant



I would agree - I too think it would be a really good idea to wait until it has grown a bit more and flowers - especially as at this stage its really difficult to tell exactly what you have growing - as both the Mountain Laurel and the Robinia are very similar - although looking at your pictures - I'm more than positive that it is one of the many varieties of Robinia - but either way both are equally attractive and look very striking in the garden :D

Robinia can be grown as a small shrub or a large tree depending on the variety and how much you prune it and can look very similar to this when grown as a tree

Robinia Pseudoacacia.JPG


The blossoms of a Robinia are different from the Mountain Laurel in that they are more pea like and come in every shade of pink and lilac as well as white and although the blossoms have an intense fragrance too - they have a more floral scent than the Mountain Laurel and for identification purposes here are some Robinia blossoms

Robinia - Blossom.jpg


The Mountain Laurel although very similar to the Robinia is slightly more woody and tends to look very similar to Wisteria - with flowers that are generally blue/lilac and look like this

calia secundiflora - blossoms.jpg


and although I think that Mountain Laurel can also be grown as a shrub as well as a tree - but think Chuck would be able to confirm on that one :D here is what it looks like when in flower.

calia secundiflora - tree.jpg


Hopefully this will help a little more :)
 
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I think you are correct. I believe Mountain Laurel (calia secundiflora) only grows in alkaline soil in portions of Texas and New Mexico. It is amazing how much alike they are. Are the flowers on yours aromatic?


They are and that is what makes it so difficult to identify funkelt's plant - but as I've said before - I feel more than sure that it belongs to the Robinia family - particularly as the foliage of a Mountain Laurel is generally more leathery than that of a Robinia - but please feel free to correct me on that if I'm wrong :D and yes Robinias are very fragrant too - but with a slightly more floral hue to the scent :)
 

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