Rose trees have graced the homes and estates of nobles and wealthy land owners for centuries in Europe and North America.
Today, Rose Standards continue to maintain an air of elegance and grace, and are a welcome addition to any garden, patio or landscape.
Rose trees, more correctly known as Rose Standards, differ from rose shrubs in that they are cultivated or "created" to resemble a tree.
A rose standard consists of three distinct parts: The crown, which is the flowering top part.
The trunk, a long slender cane 32 to 36 inches in length, devoid of any foliage, and the rootstock.
The tree shaped form, is created by making two grafts, one at the top of the central cane to support the crown, and one at the bottom, connecting it to the rootstock.
Miniature rose trees are created in a similar manner, the only difference being that the central cane measures approximately 24 inches in height.
To support the weight of the crown and its many blooms, the central cane generally must be staked.
Staking is especially important in areas prone to high wind.
Another consideration with rose standards, is the sun. The central cane can be susceptible to sun scald in exceptionally hot areas.
To guard against this, some rosarians will place a wire frame (chicken wire works well) around the trunk, then wrap the frame with cloth or paper as protection. Leave about 2 inches of space between the trunk and frame to allow air to circulate.
Heavy Winters can pose an additional challenge due to the relative difficulty of protecting the crown from the cold.
However, with a rose tree, the entire plant, from top to bottom must be protected.
The simplest way to accomplish this, is to grow standards in large containers.
Then move the plant into a cool shed or garage during the winter.
If planted in the ground, wrap the entire plant with straw and burlap, then construct and place a box made from plywood over the insulated plant.
The easiest method, is to prune for shape while deadheading, or cutting roses for display. Also, the central cane should never be pruned, only the flowering top part.
How you prune will depend on the type of rose that sits atop the cane.
The most common types of standards will have either a
, Grandiflora, Floribunda or
as it's crown, and each type will have slightly different
The newest type of rose tree to enter the market is the "Double Decker", which possess two separate tiers of flowers.
One grafted plant is on top, as you would normally expect to see, and the other grafting is placed closer to the ground.
Yellow Ribbons double decker is one popular example.
Others include: Electric Blanket and Roseberry Blanket.
Another unique creation is the "weeping tree", where arched rose stems overflowing with roses cascade towards the ground.
The Roseberry Blanket Weeping Tree Rose produces large-sized fuchsia-toned blooms.
Similar weeping varieties include: Happy Chappy, Roseberry Blanket, Red Ribbons, Yellow Ribbons and Baby Blanket.
Though Rose Standards can require a bit more care, their elegant display of blooms and heavenly scent make them well worth the effort.
Good Luck and Happy Gardening!
All photographs courtesy of Jackson and Perkins. (pictures from top are, Roseberry Blanket Double Decker, Yellow Ribbons Double Decker and Electric Blanket Double Decker).