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My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappointed

Posted by Dinglehopp3r 7a (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 23:31

Hello, I am very new to growing english roses, and really most roses in general, so I would like some opinions on this problem I am experiencing. I ordered 3 bare root roses directly from David Austin, when I came home from work today the box was here waiting, I have been SO excited about them for some time, but when I open them up & start to look over them I am very surprised and disappointed in what I find, out of the three bare roots I ordered only one of them was a perfect specimen, the other two have a couple of issues I wanted to ask about.
First and foremost my "Lady of Shalott" has a big fat split down the center stalk, starting right between the only two big roots that are on the plant, it is so bad that one half of it will need to be removed (it probably would just fall of during planting it is so bad), leaving only one main root, which will provide absolutely NO stability in the ground at all, not to mention the lack of nutrients this plant will inevitably experience because of the small root system & the probability of disease from having a big wound right in the center of the plant.
The second problem would be something I am not sure is technically a "problem" but I personally find it to be a problem... the "golden celebration" rose arrived with only 3 canes, and two of them are facing the same direction, so really it is more like a 2 cane plant, because one will eventually need to be pruned off because they will be competing for space ... The other two plants I got (and every other bare root I've ever bought) had at least 4 or 5 main canes, with several smaller canes coming out all over the place, this one only has the three. I did some research and for a bare root rose to be considered "grade 1" it has to have at least three canes, which this one technically does, but I have also heard you should choose bare roots that are shaped like a hand, with all the main canes pointing in different directions, which this one is not even close, so I don't even know what to do or say about that one.
I am happy that at least my "Lady Emma Hamilton" arrived beautiful and healthy, but I really expected much much better when ordering directly from David Austin, and paying top dollar for the root and the shipping. In your more experienced opinions, should I be as upset about this as I am? I can't imagine the lady of shalott is salvageable, and I will be calling David Austin about that in the morning, but what of the golden celebration? I was promised a grade 1 plant, and in my opinion this is not grade one... what action would you take? Those of you who have dealt with David Austin before, do you think they will take measures to fix either of these situations for me? I had to forego the one year warranty on these because I ordered them "too late in the season for my zone" (really April 23 is too late? the date of my last frost was April 15- apparently I knew less about roses than I thought) So I am a little worried, I really hope that they come through and help me out with this.

This post was edited by Dinglehopp3r on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 23:57


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Here is a photo of the wonky shaped Golden Celebration I mentioned above.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disa

No worries with the GC plant, it will be fine. You can leave it as is or go ahead and cleanly remove the small cane because it will be difficult to do it later. It will grow many more canes from the base. With regards to the LoS, I'm not sure I understand exactly what the problem is and I can't tell by the pic, but if it is evident that there is a large wound on the plant I would contact DA immediately and email them some clear pics. I think they wouldn't object in substituting the plant regardless of your waiving of the long term warranty.
Nik

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 1:51


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I think the GC is OK, too; not a great plant, but all right; I've gotten many bare-roots in my day that have that sort of cane arrangement. I would NOT prune it out immediately, by any means,since for now, the rose you actually want is just those three canes! In my experience, bare-roots start out growing by leafing out on those grafted canes, then, as the plant acquires vigour,hopefully new ones will begin to sprout from the base, but this does NOT always happen immediately, or even necessarily in the first year,so for the first year, you just deal with the funky canes arrangement. In any case,even with a bare-root with perfectly "hand-shaped" canes, in the long run these old canes will be replaced by new, young, strong ones and you'll wind up removing them,but I personally would not touch these canes at least until the plants been in the ground awhile and has begun to grow!
The photo of LoS is not very clear, but I think I see the split,and if I understand the image correctly,I think the larger hunk of roots might be saveable. But I agree that one would expect better after paying top dollar! two out of three plants are not exactly great, and this third one is obviously damaged...bart


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I agree with the above statements, and just wanted to add a few comments for future reference--hopefully these will help.

Any time you order late or have them delivered late (particularly after the standard ordering season is over--as it was with these roses), you are getting the left-overs and sometimes the runts of the litter. Given that, your three specimens are actually pretty good.

I'm in Zone 6 and I plant bareroots in mid-March or late March, only occasionally in very early April--so I would think in your zone 8, you should only plant bareroots in late February or very early March, maybe mid-March at latest.

If you want to plant roses in mid or late April in your zone, I would definitely order them potted--and plant them after all danger of freeze has passed.

Of course, I've never gardened in zone 8, so maybe I don't fully understand the gardening situation there, but I do know that I'd consider it much too warm here in zone 6 to be planting bareroots now--which doesn't mean it can't be done, but just that it is not the best time to be doing it.

Good luck--those roses will probably be beauties a year from now!

Kate


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I agree with Dublin Bay.

I garden in zone 9 and my bare root roses need to be planted by President's Day; we begin planting in late December.

Keep in mind that roses are pretty resilient. I have seen runts grow to become beautiful specimens and lack luster performances from bare roots plants with big healthy canes etc. I have one of the latter in my yard right now.

Lynn


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

But she shouldn't have to pay full price for a runt or get a mangled plant. They should have contacted her and said it was all they had left. No excuse sending these at those prices.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I have grown well over a hundred of the David Austin roses including the 3 you have ordered and you have ordered 3 of the best.

Golden Celebration and The Lady of Shalott are both available as grafted or "own root" plants. It is not clear from your photos which type you have been sent. If they ARE own root, you could remove the broken root on the LoS plant and plant it in a pot with just the top half inch or so exposed at the top. It would likely sprout a shoot or two within a few weeks and would have a second specimen.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Just a bit of info: I ordered more than 20 bareroots from Pickering in Canada. They arrived late February. They were the most pitiful looking things I've ever seen (but I wanted Austins and some OGRS on multiflora and Pickerlng was my only option). Anyway, they've all done JUST FINE. With the exception of one, Chandos Beauty, that is dead and not coming back.
They are nowhere near equal to the gorgeous roses I got from Palatine and likely won't order from Pickering again, but the root system you showed looks LOTS better than some of my Austins.
So a bit of reassurance!
Be sure to water water water and give them some fish emulsion. It is awfully hot to get started....
Most of mine went into pots or specific beds. I believe it's really important to keep the foliage misted and the roots somewhat moist until they can get acclimated. Of course, mist in the AM...
Susan


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Dinglehopp3r, most people have answered how I would. But there are a couple of questions I have, they are,
Because you ordered late, what price did you pay ?
Why did you wave your warranty ?
As for the LoS rose I would just cut the torn/broken root off, it will not suffer, I have planted worse.
GC is a very fine specimen, I personally would leave the third shoot/branch till it was happily growing, as mentioned more shoots will come from where these three have shot from,
As for contacting DAR I would have done this first prior to placing your issues on here to give them the chance of reply, This is just my opinion,
Regards David.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Dinglehopp

I wouldn't worry at all over Golden Celebration. Given the usual good care, time and pruning, that rose will soon be putting up new canes and various shoots and you'll never know the difference as it matures. GC is quite vigorous. I've grown plenty of initially wonky-looking roses over the years. Maybe most of my bare roots have arrived in odd and awkward shapes. N.B.D. (No big deal.) I just spent some time potting up a wonky Pickering rose, turning its crazy splayed roots and gawky canes every which way and that until it looked happier than not. N.B.D. in the long run. Pickering put up with intercountry credit card glitches and a late order and sent me roses which are unavailable elsewhere. Bless Susan at Pickering! :-)

Lady of Shallot: I can't quite see the split in your photos, but a split down the main cane can be a problem for all sorts of reasons. I'd send a couple of clear photos via email to David Austin and express your concerns. I imagine that the company will replace Lady.

I'm so sorry that your elation was dampened by a damaged rose. It's probably happened to most of us on the forum and sympathy is shared. On the upside: I'd plant your Lady #1 in a pot and see how she does even if she's replaced. You might have a bonus rose for your trouble!

Carol


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Last year I received a rose from DA that I was very disappointed in. I called and they sent me another one. They were very nice. I hope you will let them know and I feel they will send a replacement or credit. Good Luck..they are very expensive so I understand your concern. Lesley


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 20:05

Plant them, see if they break dormancy, if not let them know. They will probably do something for you.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I once ordered late from DA and two of the 3 roses didn't make it. It was a bad year for roses, I think. The third, Tea Clipper I still have and it's doing great. I did not pay full price, I think they were half off at least.

As the others have said, I wouldn't worry about these, I would plant them with just the tip of the graft sticking out, that why they will go own root and you don't have to worry about the crack in the root. The GC will put out many other canes, so I wouldn't worry about that one.

I recently dug up some roses that were on Dr. Huey, and the root stock was enormous. I cut a lot of it off before I replanted it. I wanted to bury these deeper in the soil so the graft was underground. Even with that severe root pruning, the roses are doing very well.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I have had great experiences with their customer service. I had a rose, planted at the beginning of the year, that did not break dormancy. I called them and explained the situation, they sent a replacement to me the next day. The replacement is doing just fine.

Lynn


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Mine should come any day but I hope they are going to look decent. Their prices are not low.
Thanks for the post.

Carla


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Thank you for you so much everyone for your input, you have all been so encouraging and helpful, I am grateful for your replies. Although I am confused why people think I am in zone 8, unless I made a typo, (not uncommon), I am in zone 7a, so I'm right on the edge of zone 6, definitely closer to zone 6 than zone 8. I'm sorry for the poor quality of the photo, I was by myself trying to hold the rose, and an Ipad & take a picture at the same time in not the best light (it was dark outside & apparently everywhere in my house too) but the whole bottom half of the root system in the photo was dangling by a little thread, leaving only one large root that sticks out at an angle. But you better believe I planted that thing in a pot after soaking it,and I'm going to baby it until it develops a better support system. I have stopped worrying about the golden celebration, after all of your replies I feel much better about the plant I received and look forward to seeing it fill out.

Glenburn,
I posted on here first because their customer service center was closed by the time I got home from work, and the next morning I had to go in to work before they opened, (it was a full weekend- I am a makeup artist and it is crazy season for me) so I knew I couldn't call them until the middle of the next day, & wanted to take some action of some kind, so I posted on here to alleviate my worrying mind while I waited for the chance to call them. I have read lots of horror stories about David Austin's customer service, so I was just seeing if anyone had any similar experiences, and what the outcomes were. I called them the next day and they said they would replace the Lady of Shalott for me at no cost. I shouldn't have worried so much because they were very helpfu the first time that they called to inform me that to get them this year, I would have to waive my one year warranty. I did not want to wait a whole year to be able to plant these in my garden, I am definitely not a patient person, which is definitely a flaw that is not good to have while gardening. The rep. gave me lots of helpful advice on potting them, and helping them break dormancy in a container & then some weeks later, after getting some leaves, I could plant them in the ground, possibly with soil or mulch built up around the base & lower canes to keep them moist. (something which I had already heard of and tired with a hybrid tea I planted a couple of weeks ago- which is doing fine so far) So I felt confident in my ability to care for them , as long as I was sent decent specimens. I even asked the DA rep then and there if I would at least have a warranty covering the plants until they reached me- in case something like this were to happen, which it did, & I'm glad I had the foresight to ask her then.

Also, I definitely should not be paying full price for 2nd quality plants, if these were on sale in some way I would have suspected that they may not be the best, but they were not on sale, I payed the full price listed on the website, $24-$27 a piece, plus a pretty healthy shipping fee. In my mind it doesn't matter what time of year it is, I better be getting what I am paying for.... If you bought a sweater in July & it was full of moth holes, would you be ok with it? Probably not. If they are going to sell an inferior product they better at least discount it in some way, I have worked in retail for a long time and I expect to get what I pay for, unless informed otherwise, and in that instance I can choose for myself wether to roll the dice on discounted items or not.

Thanks again everyone who commented, I will post some photos of their progress as it takes place :))

- Jessica.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disa

Jessica, best of luck with your roses. I order directly from David Austin as well, but the many bare roots I ordered from them this season have been healthy and are already bushy and budded or blooming.

This is my first time growing David Austins, but there was one planted right outside the front door when I moved here, and it lights up my day with gorgeous blooms nearly every day of the year, year after year, with practically no care (I'm babying my new ones). Many of my clients grow Austin roses, and I've taken delight in those as well. I've fallen in love with David Austins, and hope yours bring you many blooms and much joy.

jannike

This post was edited by Sow_what on Sun, Apr 27, 14 at 20:54


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

For future reference, it is late for planting bare roots in your zone. I order mine for delivery and planting in mid-March. Good luck with your plants.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Maybe I'm missing something here but I can't see but an oblique relationship between USDA hardiness zone and time for planting bareroots. A zone is defined by the average lowest temp in a region not from how soon it gets too hot and dry for planting. So unless it so happens that in most regions in the States that are on the same zone spring comes more or less at the same time, I fail to see the relationship. In England btw which is basically zone 8, they stop shipping bareroots at the end of April. Of course England latitude wise is much further north than almost any place in the States in zone 8 I suppose.
Nik


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Hi Nik, I rarely order bare roots myself because I prefer own root roses most of the time (though not always). However, here in California we are planting own root roses at a time when much of the United States is still deep in winter with the ground frozen solid. Spring here is a month, two months, and even three months ahead of colder parts of the country. It can indeed make quite a bit of difference. It's not just how cold it gets, it is also how long it stays cold!

Folly


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

There are many kinds of zone 8s: I've lived in three of them and each was very different from the others. Most areas classed as zone 8 in the U.S. have HOT summers--which England is not famous for--and gardeners there need to get plants in the ground in the fall or winter, to give the plants time to establish before the heat arrives. Here I try to get everything in the ground by the Christmas holidays (I don't always live up to this, but it's a desirable goal). When I've planted in late winter or, heaven help me, spring, the results have been mostly disastrous.
Melissa


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Hi Folly, this is why I'm curious about the relationship between zones and latest bareroot planting times. By definition there is none, although it may just happen that there is a correlation in most of places in the States.

Melissa, over here bareroot season starts beginning of November and ends end of March. I have had bareroots planted in March with no problem whatsoever (with the caveat that one has to supply supplemental watering, but that is true over here regardless when you plant them). Best time to plant seems to be from Dec to February which happens to be the main pruning season also.
Nik


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Nik,

In the mid-west where I live, the winters are cold, usually to -10F ( but I have experienced -20F) and the summers are hot, usually in the 90s (but I have experienced 100s). Roses do not appreciate either of these extremes. Fall planting is out because the roses need as long a season as possible to get their roots as deep as possible before the ground freezes - to about 3 feet deep. The planting objective is to hit the Spring sweet spot. (A complicating factor is that most roses grow in warmer climates and the leaves have sprouted, even on bare roots, before our frosts have stopped.)

With this background you can see the usefulness of receiving the bare roots at the right time. Although you are technically correct that the heat zones indicate the average low 10 degree range for an area, they are also a rough indicator of the average last frost date which also indicates when the weather is seriously heating up. Ideally I prefer to receive my bare roots (and hopefully bare branches) before the roses begin to leaf out here while there are light but not hard frosts. That way the roots can get established and begin to supply nutrients before the nutrient depleting stress of leaf sprouting. In addition, our best rainfall occurs here in April and May. Therefore, although my zone is 6 and my last frost date is May15, my preferred delivery date is about April 1st.

So all in all, the zone gives the gardener not a hard and fast rule but a quick rule of thumb in estimating a good time for Spring planting.

Cath


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

OK

So my replacement Lady of Shallot arrived yesterday, and I have to say that this one is BY FAR the largest and most healthy looking specimen out of all 3 that I received. This just goes to prove to me even more that it should be possible to get good bare root roses even if you order late in the year, you shouldn't have to accept second rate plants because of the time you purchase them. I am very pleased with my purchase now, all three of my plants are already showing signs of being awake and actively growing, and I cannot wait to see these babies bloom.

Sidenote: i'm nursing the damaged LOS as best as I can, it doesn't look super great, the little baby buds that were on it when it came in the mail are all brown now :(
maybe with time? does anyone have any recommendations on nursing a rose back to health that has had significant root damage?


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

You can plant anytime the ground is not frozen. The issue with bare roots is not your zone, but how long the bare roots have been out of the ground. I believe most of the roses are dug out in the fall and then put into cold storage for shipping. So the earlier you get them, the less time they spend in cold storage.

As I said upthread, I ordered from DA late, I think it was July. And yes, two of the three roses did not look good and didn't make it. But Tea Clipper did. You can plant bare roots in the middle of winter, if your ground isn't frozen or in the middle of July.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

cath41,
I'm really not sure I understand why spring (and in many places a really short period in spring for that matter) is the main bare root season in the US. Maybe it's normal for your zone 6 or colder, if winter starts very early and the ground soon freezes up but I really don't see why people in places in zone 7,8,9 or 10 may not plant in the fall. Maybe the explanation lies not in where the rose is going to be planted but in where the plant is nursed...

Central and Northern Europe has similar climate with regards to cold and freezing grounds with lots of places in the US. Mostly zones 4 to 7. On the other hand these places tend to be cooler in the summer than the places in the US in similar cold hardiness zones. I don't think that people in these European places avoid planting in fall and prefer to plant only in spring. Bare root planting period in all of Europe is fall to spring, with main differences between colder and warmer regions being the beginning and end of the season (in colder regions the season is actually LONGER than in warmer ones) as well as a pause during mid-winter extreme cold periods or when ground freezes (where applicable).


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Nik

I think it has to do with sales issues rather than best time to plant. I seem to remember Weeks posting when they were digging up and prepping the bareroots some time in November last year. Only in November and December the big push in stores and nurseries are holiday items. Christmas trees and poinsettias not roses and fruit trees. Using the local nursery as a sample of what a more "high end" retailer does, they fill their usual bedding plant area with trees the end of November. They close down for the week between Christmas and New Years and when they re-open, that is all bare root roses and fruit trees with a few bedding plants.

Since those plants were harvested in November, I think you have to figure there is a limit to how long they can be cold stored and shipped out to meet best planting times. It is not unlikely that the last plants out are not as good as the first ones. Because it looks bad for your company if you only ship bad condition plants, it is better to stop shipping at some point and either sell off remaining stock to a repackager or pot up and sell for a premium yourself.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Nik,

I know that Americans farther South than my zone 6a do plant in the Fall but I have had no personal experience with warmer zones. However, from my zone North (and that's a lot of territory), Fall planting is not a viable option. In August it is too hot to plant, getting in the high 80s and then the first frosts come about the first or second week in October. Four to five weeks is not enough time for the roses to get established and prepare for the hard frosts soon to come. Our last frost date is May 15, so that is about 7 months. Usually we have snow cover then it melts, then more snow cover and on and on through the winter. This is especially bad because repeated freezing and thawing cycles heave plants out of the ground. A constant snow cover, which we do not have, would prevent that and in addition would be protective insulation, keeping the
plants near 32 F instead of the -10F air temperatures normal for this zone. It may be difficult for most Europeans to sense the degree and duration of cold that we experience, Scandinavian countries and Scotland excepted. When I read English gardening books that say a plant is cold hardy, I have to remember they mean that it will survive in a zone much warmer than mine. Most of England is zone 8! Compare the Hardiness Zone maps on Garden Web of Europe versus The United States. The color of the zones give a more intuitive feel for the difference in climate.

Cath


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disa

Cath,

I listen to what you're saying. My theoretical objection, since I cannot talk from personal experience, is that I'm not so sure bareroot plants (which are dormant by definition) need ANY time to 'get established and prepare' for winter cold. They have been harvested from the field and have been put, usually artificially, into dormancy before shipping. Dormancy is the reason why they can get shipped barerooted in the first place. As long as the ground is not frozen and the plant is suited for the hardiness zone, the bareroot can get planted in fall and will continue to be dormant until spring. For the plant is should be the same thing as if it was never taken out of the nursery fridge. This should be applicable to any plant that can be planted bareroot, not only roses. That, of course, does not apply for planting non-dormant plants.

In my climate, bareroots usually come out of dormancy as soon as they are planted, which is why it is not very good to plant them too early in fall, but in colder climates the plant should just remain dormant until normal wake up season.
Nik

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Sun, May 4, 14 at 2:29


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Nik,

You mentioned the exact reason why we cannot successfully plant in the Fall, the ground freezes. Where I grew up, in northern Illinois, zone 5, it froze about 6 feet deep as I recall. Here I think that it is about 3 feet and we have heavy clay. Plants usually survive winters better in lighter soil. I agree that it is best to plant bare roots while the roses are still dormant which is why I plant beginning from April 1, long before the last frost. Another factor is that, although we get very hot summers, we also get rain during the summer. There are dry spells and there can be droughty summers but the latter is rare. The norm is hot and humid. The rain patterns here may be different than those you experience and those differences may contribute to a different optimal planting time.

Cath


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

As long as ... the plant is suited for the hardiness zone

This is a lot of the issue in a nutshell. The reality is, that by any objective use of the word, most roses sold in North America are only hardy to zone 7. Another large group is only hardy to zone 6. I have planted a lot of gallicas and other legitimately hardy roses in the fall, and it has worked out fine.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Mad Gallica,

Do you experience the freeze thaw cycles that we do throughout the Winter or do you have constant snow cover for most of the Winter?

Cath


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Freeze, thaw, freeze.

We are about where the cold, dry continental air meets the warm, moist ocean air. That describes a good part of the northeast, including here. So our winters can have cold, clear parts, and warm, moist parts, and blizzards where the two meet. So we accumulate snow cover, then it all melts, only to accumulate again. We definitely tend to have snow cover during the coldest parts of the winter, but the thaw cycles severely mess up any of the usual types of winter protection.

During the notorious winter of '94, we had a week with a low of -30, followed by a week with a low of 35, followed by a week with a low of -20.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

I was under the impression that it also has to do with how much hotter our summers get. If a bareroot is planted late in the spring, it doesn't have time to develop a good root system before the blazing hot summer sun makes an appearance.

I am referring to the Midwestern oven-hot summers, of course. I realize some of you have rather mild summers.

Kate


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 4, 14 at 17:48

Unless it was damaged in shipping somehow the one with the split root crown should have never been sent.


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RE: My David Austin bare roots arrived today & I am very disappoi

Come to think of it, I do know of two plants that prefer Fall planting here, Eryngium (Sea Holly) and Anemone japonica (Japanese Anemone). The Eryngium has a deep tap root and resents transplanting but I don't know whether this is the reason. As to the Anemone, I haven't a clue.

Thanks Mad Gallica for your info.

Cath


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