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pruning after ice storm? My sad icey roses.

Posted by northtexasdude 8 / North Texas (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 21:12

We are recovering from a nasty ice storm over here in north texas. I usually don't prune my roses until February, as my roses can take the one or two snow events we get a year. But this ice storm seems to have bent some of the roses over permanently. Today was the first day they thawed, so maybe I should give them more time to perk back up. My mutabilis in particular which is normally 7 ft tall is now bent over to about 3 feet, and doesn't show signs of getting back up.
So my question is, should I prune anything to prevent any long canes or big bushes like mutabilis from getting injured should there be another ice event this year?
I think mutabilis really needs a pruning now since it is bent over about 2 other rose bushes and a few companion rosemaries. I don't want to smother those out over the winter.
Any suggestions? I don't want to cause any harm by pruning too early, but I also don't want windrock or storm damage from the next big ice storm.
Here are a few pics of my cold roses...
 photo photo2_zps6f89ab5b.jpg
winter storm 2013 photo photo1_zpsd94b8482.jpg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: pruning after ice storm? My sad icey roses.

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 23:28

I would just leave them for a while longer. Then only prune off anything that is visibly broken. As long as the canes are not broken they should come back once it warms up.


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RE: pruning after ice storm? My sad icey roses.

mmmm, would be inclined to leave them too - if nothing else, the bent and damaged foliage will provide further protection over winter (although it does look a bit unsightly). The autumn clear-up is always a tricky decision time - what to leave, what to cutback.....but in general, best to err on the side of caution and simply leave old leafage and branches as an organic windbreak and stabiliser against further windrock or freezing.


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RE: pruning after ice storm? My sad icey roses.

Probably if you stake them up once winter is over, they will retain an upright stance and you can remove the supports later. Brrrr that ice looks cold. We had a little frost nip here and got silvery lawns and rooftops but that was all. I read about your ice storm on the Texas garden forum. I'm glad your plants were not broken.


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RE: pruning after ice storm? My sad icey roses.

I remember a lot of ice storms in Connecticut when everything was covered with ice and usually the power was out. The roses will be fine. The ice actually protects them. Any problems you have you will see next spring or where you are probably in February or March. Some years we had a lot of canker from freezing and thawing but not from ice.


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