Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Tree roses are a fun way to add a new look to your rose garden. Including one or more tree roses in your garden creates a focal point while making a grand statement. Tree roses are a garden classic and throughout history were often found in the gardens of aristocrats and the wealthy.
Tree roses, the common name for the rose standard, can be found at many big box garden stores as well as nurseries. A tree rose is basically a rose that through grafting has been grown into the form of a tree. Tree roses have one graft at the bottom of the plant like a traditionally grafted rose and then an additional graft at the top of a 24-40" cane. This additional graft at the top of the non flowering cane or stem is what creates the flowers on your rose tree.
Rose trees today come in just about any variety of rose you can imagine. If you don't like to spray your roses you can get a Knock Out Rose tree. If you want larger flowers there are rose trees with hybrid tea blooms or try a floribunda. Rose trees are even available as minis. The 24” cane length is considered a miniature, and is great for smaller gardens or in pots on your patio.
Rose trees do require a bit of extra care due to their unique form. Most rose trees will need to be staked to prevent wind damage to the stem or cane. You'll also need to keep up with the pruning of your tree rose. If your rose gets too large or top heavy the cane can be damaged, because it's only able to support a reasonable amount of top growth.
Your rose tree will also need additional help dealing with extremes of heat or cold. Hot southern climates can make the cane or stem susceptible to sun scald. Harsh winter climates will force you to devise creative and interesting looking methods of protecting both the lower and upper grafts on your rose tree. This involves creating a mesh metal cylinder to the height of the upper graft and filled with mulch, or wrapping the stem and thus both grafts with insulating foam, or burying your rose tree in a trench filled with soil and covered with mulch.
Rose trees can be a fun addition to your garden. Anyone who has the time to provide a bit of additional care can have one these stunning specimens in their yard. Rose trees added to your garden as singles or en mass will create a stunning focal point and give a dramatic feel to your rose beds.