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Can I hard prune my climbing roses now?

B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,022
They are mature but flower too high up the fence. I would like to hard prune so that I can train them lower down. 
Arthur Bell , Albertine and an unidentified pink one. 

In London. Keen but lazy.


  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,528
    Don’t see why not, winter is a good time to renovate overgrown climbers. If you have some newer, ideally still green and flexible canes I would be inclined to try and keep those to retain at least some framework and just cut out the old, woody and unproductive canes out. Alternatively whack everything down to about a foot and start again, but be prepared to wait a couple of years for them to get back into full swing.

    I don’t have any once-bloomers like Albertine tho, so maybe take advice on that one from someone who grows it or similar ramblers..
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,022
    Thanks @Nollie
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I'm not a rose guy but have watched a fair few of Jason's videos to know he is. I don't know if this specifically answers your question but it does explain how to prune them and I'm sure you might find more helpful stuff on his channel.

    On his website it mentions he doesn't believe in winter pruning as you can get dieback in the areas that you pruned if the winter is really cold. He lives in the fraser valley in Canada but it doesn't seem much different in climate, if a little colder occassionally than the uk.
  • I will just mention that winter/early spring was the time when my grandparents pruned their roses and it seems many still do around me including the people who have grown them for 50+ years. I do find that with Jason's channel, he doesn't always follow common advice if he doesn't believe it is best but he will tell you his reasons with the results of his research.  
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,022
    Thank you @thevictorian. I hoped to get away with it early because of the recent hard frost. Sounds like I'll have to leave it for a while 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I only have Arthur Bell from those three, but he produces a lot of new canes for me. Is it the same for you? So even if you whacked it riiiiight back I'd expect you would have plenty  of fresh and more supple newer canes in the coming seasons. I'd go for it. I have started pruning all my roses now because that very cold snap before Christmas did seem to force them all into dormancy (but am no expert). 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,022
    Same for me @WhereAreMySecateurs. I don't want to kill him, just put manners on him.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Lol! Exactly. My puppy put manners on him repeatedly this spring and he recovered very well.😁
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,528
    I would just crack on with it, there should be no worries about drastic dieback in London’s mild climate 😊  At this time of year, when hopefully they are going dormant and all the leaves have dropped, you can at least see the wood for the trees.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,823
    I know this is central london but the gardeners in Regents park (where they have a lot of roses of all types) prune all through the winter. They say they don't have time to do the traditional late autumn trim and then again in spring they just do it all in one go. 
    AB Still learning

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