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This is probably a daft question, but when gardening mags and books say don't prune roses in time of frosts, what exactly do they mean? If there was a frost in the morning, but it's gone by lunchtime can you prune in the afternoon? If the weatherforecast says frost for the next day can you prune the day before? Or does it just mean don't prune while there is frost at the time of pruning? Though why should one want to? Most uncomfortable and chilly!
I think they mean the sort of hard frosts that would damage the resulting new shoots.
I have always read this as saying don't prune too early say in December/ January as any news shoots stimulated to grow could get nipped back by frosts.
At moment we have positive temperatures during the day but negative ones during the night. I am wondering whether it is still too soon to prune fruit trees (or anything else that should be pruned now) as the tissue around the new cut would probably be damaged by the minus temperatures during the night.
What do you think?
I think you are over analysing this-pruning is mostly done in the dormant period before the sap rises-on your theory this would never get done as this is usually is in the winter period when frost is likely at night any time -and if you dont prune now and wait for frosts to go the window of opportunity has gone
So you prune now
Roses too ? I thought I had read somewhere that I should leave rose pruning tl March
Always do mine from any time now-some from postings on this forum have already done it
It is conditions not calendar that surely dictates-I would say now to Mid-March depending on area
OK - thanks. Secateurs here I come !
Some also say that if you spray your roses against rust etc. that this is best done when the plant first starts bud bursting i.e. don't wait until in full leaf. So whatever time you prune keep an eye on the growth and be prepared to act soonest.
Just one drawback this year...the manufacturer of Roseclear3, the main spray available to poor souls such as we, has halved the strength of the product, but has not lowered the price. The change is in the smal print on the side of the packet. Last year it made 20L of spray, this year it only makes10L. Now there's a nice surprise for everyone.
I'm only just pruning mine now, much later than I normally would as I'm near the south coast.
They've put on so little growth though, my reasoning is if it feels a month later than usual to us temperature wise, it probably does to them too.
I've not taken as much off as I normally would with the hybrid teas, because I'm pruning to invigorate them, not exhaust them if they've already put all that energy into new growth already. I also tend to prune as I pick roses or deadhead during the summer, back to the next outward facing bud, so didn't have to cut much or anything off now anyway on the english roses.
I'm only just doing the climbers too, but am just tipping the dead bits off really as they're mostly only a year or two old.
I hope I get away with it, I have lots of roses & want lots of blooms!
I pruned mine last week but would have left it later if I could but I've had foot surgery again this week so needed to get it done before I got laid up for a few weeks. After this winter there was more dead wood than usual and not a leaf on any but some good looking buds starting to swell so fingers crossed. I didn't do the ones over on the more exposed east side as they risk getting knocked back by a late frost so will ahve to take their chances with a late prune.
You definitely have to go with weather conditions and not calendars.
Thank you everyone for the replies.
I hope your foot recovers quickly Obelixx, very inconvenient time of year!
My roses are all shooting like mad now, finished pruning by end of March.