Pruning Roses Late & Weeping Cherry

Question:

I've just pruned my roses. There was lots of new growth, so I just thinned them a bit and removed the deadwood. Should they be sprayed with a dormant spray? I've had Black Spot in previous years and some mildew, so I'd like to prevent them this year.

Answer:

  • It's not too late to prune roses.
  • The only adverse effect from pruning late is you'll delay flowering; however, based on what you did, I'm not sure that this will be an issue. It is too late to apply a dormant spray.
    • If applied now, you'll more than likely burn the foliage.
    • Dormant spray cleans up overwintering spores but does not affect preventing the diseases later in the year.
  •  It would help if you cleaned up any of the debris that has accumulated under the bushes.
    • Rust, Mildew, and Black Spot are air-borne fungus that infects roses when moisture remains on the foliage after the sunset.
    • They're a serious problem when the rainy season extends into late April.
    • You'll need to be pro-active with your fungicide to keep the rose leaves pristine.
      • While there are many fungicides available to control Rust, Black Spot, and Mildew, none of them will eradicate the diseases.
      • Fungicides must be applied prior to the disease showing up to be effective in preventing the problem(s) from occurring. We usually end up reacting to it after the fact as you're too late when you see the diseases.
      • The infection occurred ten to fourteen days earlier. Bayer Advanced Rose And Flower Care is a unique solution to preventing rose diseases. It's the only systemic, fungicide available that gives six-weeks control per application for Rust, Black Spot, and Mildew on roses as well as many other plants. It also controls Aphids and many other insects along with feeding your bushes.
      • This three and one product is applied to the roots in a bucket of water. I'd use it when the forecast indicates wet weather is ahead. One application should be sufficient to keep your roses disease-free with a minimal amount of effort.

Question:

I have a Weeping Cherry in a container. How far back should I cut the branches? Should this be done now or after it has flowered in the spring? 

Answer:

  •  Flowering trees are usually pruned after they finish flowering. You can undoubtedly prune it now, but you only reduce the color show you waited all year for.
  • How far back you prune the branches on a flowering cherry is a judgment call on your part. It could be several inches or feet.
  • The bottom of the branches can be uninformed, or you can stagger the lengths. It depends on how the plant is being viewed. I would remove any dead wood, and you might thin out branches that very close to one another.
  • Another thing I suggest is some before and after pictures with your smartphone or digital camera. It's a valuable resource next year when it comes time to prune again.