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How to Prune Woods' Rose


Do not deadhead woods' rose unless you do not want it to go to fruit. The fruit attracts wildlife.


Always wear gloves when pruning woods' rose.

Woods’ rose is a wild shrub rose native to North America. They grow naturally all over the western U.S. and up into Canada. While their blooms are not as complex as modern roses, with only five petals per flower, they are still a lovely plant. They also produce rose hips that stay on the bush during the winter and provide wildlife with much needed food. It is hardy through zones 4 to 8. Prune woods’ rose lightly in order to get the best out of it.

Prune woods' rose in the spring while the plant is dormant. Pruning may also be done in the summer, after woods' rose has finished blooming, if you cannot remember which canes are old growth and which are new growth. Prune woods' rose annually.

Remove any dead or damaged branches. Remove them as close to the base of the woods' rose as you can get.

Remove any suckers. Woods' rose will send off a plethora of them, and unless you want the shrub to grow out of control, prune them back to the base of the plant.

Trim back old growth carefully. Trim back the old growth to the shape you desire to keep your woods' rose. Do not remove the old growth. Woods' rose flowers on old growth. It needs the old canes in which to thrive and attract wildlife. Woods' rose will flower several times during the spring and summer.

Remove about 20 to 25 percent of growth from your woods' rose each time you prune it. Leave about 3 to 4 inches between each cane so the sunlight may get into the bush.

Cover each pruning cut with pruning seal in order to prevent cane bores.

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