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Basal Shoots

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Basal Shoots

Post by silkyfizz on 15th June 2013, 13:34

Recently on the Graham Thomas thread, I mentioned an interesting article in Rose Society Vic winter bulletin. Here it is:

Basal Shoots     by Pat Mason (NZ)
Australian and New Zealand Rose Annual 1958


Probably the treatment of basal shoots has proved, over the years, to be one of the greatest problems to confront gardeners who desire good results as well as pleasure from their efforts to grow roses.
From the time when first noticed (“Remove all suckers!”) till their second season as part of the plant...how what to do? Two methods have been generally advised. At the first (winter) pruning – slice everything down to within so many inches of the ground (and find that the plants resent such drastic treatment and the cuts present ideal lodging for diseases etc). Or the orthodoxx method generally followed in gardens where light pruning is in force, of avoiding cutting into main stems, below what was, earlier, a “candelabra” head of blooms.
The former method is “out” because in a season or two there will be little left to prune; with the latter, although usually a fairly safe means of preventing die-back, often gives a lops-sided and awkward result and sometimes unsatisfactory as well. From the beginners’ viewpoint, definitely a puzzling problem and a query often asked of more experienced rosarians.
In attempting to find a solution, the chief aim was a get a different and better type of growth, surmounted by fewer and better blooms, avoiding die-back and difficult pruning (lack of eyes on the branchlets), as well as producing a strong, healthy and shapely plant.
The treatment outlined below began partly from the results noted after an accident to a growing basal shoot, allied to experience gained in commercial plant-growing. It has been so very successful as applied during trials with many varieties grown in the garden. Indeed, some surprising results have been experienced, particularly as regards the extra growth achieved, both in quantity and quality. It can be especially recommended for temperamental sorts.
Horticulturally, the practice of “tipping’ or ‘pinching’ of active growth is an ancient art, but so far this technique does not seem to have been used in our gardens for the better development of roses.
The programme commences with the advent of the basal (or near basal) growths which appear, mostly during the spring and summer months. A few minutes about twice a week (as growth is very rapid) and the job is done. The idea is to ‘tip’ the soft new shoots while they are still red and soft and before the fibre begins to form when they form a green shade. Remove three to six inches, making the cuts about half an inch above the eyes (in the axils of the leaves).
In making the cuts at various heights, it was found that where plants were growing well and ranging between three and seven feet, “tipping’ of the shoots at about fifteen to eighteen inches from the base was very satisfactory – that is, after removing about four inches of tip growth. For very large plants, the pinching point could be even as high as twenty-four inches, and for the lower sorts could be reduced to about twelve inches from the base.
With the immediate future in mind, and aiming at producing a shapely plant, select the best positions for the two topmost eyes to be immediately below the propective cut, and at the desired height. I prefer to use a sharp knife rather than secateurs, but the job could be done with the fingers. Most produce two laterals, in a few cases three laterals, and in a small number of instances only one – in the latter case a second tipping (after a few inches) may be effective if the season allows and in an effort to break what can be a varietal tendency.
Die-back of the tipped stem will occur if done too late in the season. In climates similar to Auckland, where even late summer/early autumn basal shoots flower, ripen, remain strong and healthy and are retained in the plants at pruning time, tipping should be successful if done not later than about the third week of March. For cooler climates, several weeks earlier would be necessary, as the ultimate flowering and ripening is delayed with the advent of cooler weather.
Staking of basal shoots, which was previously extensively done, was found to be in most instances unnecessary. “Candelabra” flowering – those masses of almost useless blooms – is largely reduced and by disbudding quite good blooms are obtained; when these are spent, trim lateral lightly. However at the winter pruning these laterals can be safely pruned at the desired height. During successive seasons additional laterals will appear both above and below the tipping point, making a very vigorous and strong plant. In this particular respect Floribundas have given outstanding results.

It is not generally realised, too, that a great deal can be done to improve the positions of badly placed basal shoots, rather than be forced to remove these valuable growths at a later date. Just gently press with the fingers at the point on the soft stem where it is desired to alter alignment (do this at a very young stage and before it has even reached the “tipping” height), prop or tie into position – a twig will often suffice -  this will be needed for only a few days, but inspect quite often and alter it if necessary.
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by paulh on 16th June 2013, 01:24

so is a sucker a basal
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 16th June 2013, 05:47

The definitive answer to you Paul is NO. A sucker comes from below the bud union/graft. A basal break/bud comes from the area from which the original bud was placed. I guess the easiest way  would be to say some cells in that little bud separated and sent up another cane/branch. Hope this helps.
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by silkyfizz on 16th June 2013, 11:20

I think it means for the inexperienced gardener, a basal shoot could be mistaken for a sucker and therefore ripped out.
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by silkyfizz on 10th September 2013, 16:46

Bump
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th September 2013, 17:49

Silky, are you unsure of the replies
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by silkyfizz on 10th September 2013, 17:55

Not sure what you mean Roseman.confused 
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by AutumnDamask on 10th September 2013, 18:15

Silky, I think the question is more along the lines of "You bumped this thread - so what discussion/questions were you hoping for?"
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th September 2013, 18:16

I am lost on the bump part
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by AutumnDamask on 10th September 2013, 18:19

LOL

Okay. (And I read the Graham Thomas thread so now I understand the start of this one. hehe)

"Bump" is used when an old thread has a new post put into it to "bump" it up to the top of the topic heap. Laughing 
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by neptune on 10th September 2013, 18:36

she bumped it for me from a question I asked on another thread........
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th September 2013, 19:05

Understood now
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by silkyfizz on 11th September 2013, 12:37

Well, I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth and pinched out shoots of Graham Thomas this morning, as part of my experiment to create a more manageable sized and shapely plant, as per the advice in the above article. It was hard to bring myself to do it. Time will tell how this will pan out.
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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by SueH on 11th September 2013, 12:56

Waiting with you Silky! Fingers Crossed  

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Re: Basal Shoots

Post by Alee on 11th September 2013, 19:15

Thanks Silky. Very useful article.

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