Pruning Climbing Roses: Errant Canes

You've decided to arrange the canes of your climbing rose out like the ribs of a fan on your trellis or fence.  All proceeds as planned, until the day that one cane grows straight out, away from the support at a perpendicular angle, and no matter how early you try to train the cane in one direction or the other, it doesn't want to do anything but grow straight out where it can scratch you or pull off your sweater or tear a hole in your favorite gardening shorts.

Errant cane

What do you do?    One of two things.  One:  if the rose is less than about three years old, you leave the cane as it is or tie it up however you can, and walk around it as best you can.  The rose is not yet fully established, and it needs the nutrients that errant cane is producing.  When the rose reaches its third year in the same spot, and is growing nicely, then you grit your teeth and cut the errant cane off at the base.  That's what has to be done.  

Errant cane

I hate doing it.  A strong healthy cane--when you cut off that, your are cutting off potential flowers.  But in the long run, the rose will produce canes that go in the right direction, so it's best to teeth-grit and cut. 

Errant cane

Not satisfying, (at least at the time) but there it is.  If you want to bake a cake, you have to break the eggs.

Fourth Of July


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