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How to Winterize Tree Roses

By Jarrett Melendez
Tree roses add a spot of formal elegance to your garden.
David De Lossy/Valueline/Getty Images

If you have tree roses, also known as rose standards, in your garden, you need to give them lots of insulation from cold winters. Although tree roses can thrive in colder U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones, they won't last through the winter without a little help from you. Start your tree rose winterization project in late autumn, before temperatures drop below freezing.

Build a cylindrical cage of wire mesh, chicken wire or flexible plastic foam around your tree rose near the end of autumn. Extend the cage about 6 inches above the top of the tree.

Fill a wire or mesh cage to the top with mulch or straw, so the top of the rose tree is covered with 6 inches of material. No mulch or straw is necessary if you used plastic foam -- the foam provides enough insulation.

Wrap the cage with burlap for further protection. Secure the burlap with rope, duct-tape or another heavy-duty tape.


Things You Will Need

  • Wire mesh, chicken wire or flexible plastic foam
  • Mulch or straw
  • Burlap
  • Rope, duct tape or heavy-duty tape


  • In areas of extreme winter cold it's better to put the tree rose in a "grave." Dig an 18-inch deep trench in the garden. Prune the top of the tree rose as normal, then dig up the entire plant, being careful to avoid damaging the roots. Place the plant on its side in the trench, then recover with soil and an additional insulating layer of organic mulch. Mark the location of the grave so you can dig it up again when spring arrives.

About the Author


Jarrett Melendez is a journalist, playwright and novelist who has been writing for more than seven years. His first published work was a play titled, "Oh, Grow Up!" which he wrote and performed with a group of his classmates in 2002.