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How To Trim A Knock Out Rose Tree

By Julie Christensen ; Updated September 21, 2017
Knock Out roses are a low-maintenance variety.
Rose image by Fenvarien from Fotolia.com

Knock Out roses are a new variety that make rose gardening breeze. Whether you choose a Knock Out rose tree or bush, this plant offers prolific blooms with little maintenance. The roses are resistant to disease, including black spot, thrive in most soils and are even drought-tolerant. These roses even self-clean, meaning they require no dead-heading. Spent flowers drop and new ones emerge. Knock Out rose trees are hardier than most rose trees although they do benefit from winter protection.

Cut out diseased and dead wood with your pruners from early spring to fall. Discard all branches promptly to avoid introducing diseases, especially if you have other rose varieties in your garden. While Knock Out rose trees are disease-resistant, good hyiene practices will ensure healthy plants.

Rip out suckers by grasping them between your fingers and pulling. Suckers are spindly, vegatative growths that sprout from main limbs. Pruning them will cause them to re-grow.

Prune back the tips of your rose tree throughout the growing season to maintain its shape. Rose trees don't require severe pruning, but if you want to reshape the tree, prune in early spring when buds swell, but new growth hasn't begun. Make cuts 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud. Cut at a 45 degree angle so water will run off the cut.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand pruning shears


  • Always wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when pruning roses.
  • Bring rose trees inside during bitter winters, or plant in a site protected by other trees or buildings. Apply a 3-inch wood chip mulch to the base of the tree and wrap the trunk in burlap.

About the Author


Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."