A rose tree, also known as a rose standard, is different from regular rose shrubs in the sense that it is especially cultivated to look like a tree. This “tree” resembles a lollipop and is created by grafting three rose plants together. It consists of a long and slender cane that is between 32 to 36 inches long, devoid of any foliage, grafted to a rootstock and a crown of roses. For a dramatic effect, it can be cascaded by pruning the roses as they grow.
Graft a length of cultivar such as floribunda, hybrid tea or grandiflora to the top of the central cane. Graft a disease- and rot-resistant hardy cultivar to the base of the cane. The resulting tree will be formed with the central cane serving as the small trunk, the grafted length on top as the crown of roses, and the grafted length at the bottom serving as the rootstock.
Select a suitable place in your garden where you want to plant the rose tree. Make sure the soil is well drained, and the area gets at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Drive a metal or wooden stake into the ground to help the cane support the weight of the grafted rose crown on top. Extend garden string to secure the grafted tree to the support stake. Staking will also protect the tree from strong winds.
Prune the rose tree once all the roses bloom to give it a cascading look all through the season. Step back and visualize the shape you want to give the tree so you can cut branches accordingly. Achieve the cascading effect by pruning the tree so it is narrow at the top and wide in the middle. Trim all the flowering branches at the top, allowing the ones in the middle of the tree to hang.
Things You Will Need
- Rose plants
- Sharp knife
- Grafting wax
- Metal or wooden stake, 1 meter long
- Garden string
- Pruning scissors
- The ideal time to graft is late fall when the rose plants go into dormancy.
- Use a clean, sharp and pointed knife to make straight cuts and cover both the unions (the portion where the two different plants meet) with grafting wax.
- Make sure the grafts are sealed during the dormant period so both the unions establish itself and grow as one.
- Protect the vulnerable stem of the rose tree from frostbite in the cold winter months by making a cylinder with wire mesh, the same height as the primary cane and placing it around the primary cane or stem. Fill it with mulch so the tree is protected. Remove the mesh cylinder in spring.