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Bare Rooted Rose Quality

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Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ausrose on 27th July 2014, 19:30

From recent posts on another thread there appears to be some confusion between the quality of a bare rooted rose and its size. Size is an indication of age not quality.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by neptune on 27th July 2014, 19:42

Now I am confused, Doug.......You always told me size counts...... scratch 
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ausrose on 27th July 2014, 20:04

John I think you misunderstood what I told you. What I said was,"It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog."


Last edited by Ausrose on 27th July 2014, 20:33; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by neptune on 27th July 2014, 20:32

Oh I C, Doug.....I hate this Craft Disease....... Dunno 
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by dannyboy on 27th July 2014, 23:35

Agree with you Ausrose ،but why do so many nurserys claim they a 2yr old roses when you can cleary see there not.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 28th July 2014, 06:43

I will start from the start as they say,

1. The rootstock is usually collected in Autumn/ Winter, it used to be 8"/200ml long, it appears the nurseries are cutting back a bit, now 5"/125ml. The rootstock is now de-eyed, meaning all the eyes/buds are cut off bar the top two, the reason for two is if one fails the other will keep the stock alive. These then are stored in a dark/warm(not hot) environment to form the callus, we used broccoli boxes, unsure of what is used now, these are planted out in fields, this could be as little as two weeks. Come late Spring/Early Summer these are budded/grafted with the selected rose variety. If the graft(normally budders{that is the person which does this job is called looks for a ninety percent take} has taken which is visible from two to three weeks. The buds are placed under the two buds/branches left on the rootstock. After a month or so people come along and cut the stem above the desired bud and below the branches of the rootstock. This then becomes the rose. From this point in time we could be in very late Spring/early Summer. The rose is left in the field and cared for. It is lifted after two Winters, which makes it an 18 month old plant if you go thru the time frame I have out lined. Hope this helps. Not all roses are lifted at this age some will be left to grow on for a further twelve months.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by muscovyduckling on 28th July 2014, 10:54

Thanks Roseman! Good explanation of how it all works Smile

Now I have some questions! Firstly, as Doug pointed out, size doesn't equal quality, it only shows the age. So two things about this: when I receive bare-root roses, what do I physically have to look for on the bare-root plant that will indicate the quality (or do you just have to wait until it grows to see)? I don't see any cane dieback, messy knobbly grafts or broken canes on my roses, does that automatically mean they are of a high quality, because there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with them?

Also, if size/age doesn't matter, why do nurseries specifically advertise that they sell two year old plants, as Dannyboy says? And why would Jean say that some of her roses were too small to sell to me if size and age don't matter (or is the 18 month mark that you describe the 'minimum' age for selling)? Or do nurseries just decide that they will only ship plants of 'X' size because of newbies like me who think size = quality!? Are they just pandering to the masses there?


If the plants are bigger/older does that mean they have a better chance of survival when planted directly into the garden of a novice like me?

I just don't want to be the fool who recommends a nursery to others based on my perceptions of quality, which actually have no foundation whatsoever!


Last edited by muscovyduckling on 28th July 2014, 10:56; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More questions!)
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 28th July 2014, 12:32

Zoe, a couple of things that might help you,
It is my belief and opinion a good bare root should have two basic things going for it to start with, they are,
A decent root system, they will grow with one that is ordinary, but will grow better with a complete system, by that roots that are spaced equally around the base of the stock, it is one of the major parts of the roses survival.
As for the second, the union of the stock and the bud is critical as this is the developing part of the rose for which we purchased it. The style of graft is a personal thing. Zoe if I see something as you put in your post( messy knobbly grafts), leaving out the "messy" bit. The bigger the graft area the better the rose will perform in relation to the roots. Lets say you receive bush with one stem and one with 3 stems which could be of a thinner size, I would take the 1 stem fella over the 3 stem fella if the union was stronger on it, knowing that the union will produce lots of "basil" shoots. There is a correlation between the roots and the buds.

Next part to your questions will have to be answered tonight, I have to go back to work.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 28th July 2014, 18:52

Zoe in relation to this part of your questions " And why would Jean say that some of her roses were too small to sell to me" .
It would be to do with the cultivar I suspect, lets say you are after older type roses some of them are very slow to start thier growth, which intern would make then very small and spindly, this is my opinion, this then would make them 3 year olds with a great root system.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by muscovyduckling on 29th July 2014, 09:35

Yep, that would make sense David.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 29th July 2014, 12:23

Doug, you haven't chimed in yet.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ausrose on 29th July 2014, 12:30

As I pointed out in another thread I recently received two Sharon Louise(Parks) rose plants from Thomas for Roses. I was told they were very immature however as I wanted the cultivar desperately I said I would like them despite their immaturity. I potted them up and have placed in my special care area where I have four roses budded by the AQ about the same time as the two from Thomas for Roses. I am pretty confident in twelve months I will have six rose plants ready to plant out. I base my confidence on the previous experience I have had with roses budded by the AQ.

Or do nurseries just decide that they will only ship plants of 'X' size because of newbies like me who think size = quality!? wrote:

 Has a degree of of truth however I do believe when roses are dug up and posted they need to have a certain  level of robustness to have an acceptable survival rate and this comes with age.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ozeboy on 1st August 2014, 13:25

Ducky, the older and larger the nursery the greater chance of receiving some virused roses. Growers are more aware now and have started to reduce the problem. However you could expect an infected rate of around 5 to 10% when ordering older HT's. The newer releases are usually clean due to less propagation. Virused roses or plants do not grow very well.

Roses can be too old or too young, I prefer the following. Plant understocks July/August, bud late Spring/early Summer. Then grow on until the second winter for dispatch. These plants usually establish much better over time.

The larger the selection a nursery grows then the greater chance of getting roses I consider past it. Take Thomas for example, their range is so extensive they couldn't have every one at the perfect age for transplanting. However a reasonable gardener has to accept that and be thankful for their efforts to keep a lot of these oldies available.

How old is a rose? As old as the graft time or when the understock is planted? I make two senario's for you to ponder on.
#1. A four year old understock is budded in June with 'Altissimo' and by the first of November it has two canes 7 feet tall.

#2 I received some cuttings in July and budded these on year old understocks. They were 3 feet tall and blooming the first week in December of the same year.

How old is #1 and #2 ?

Just give the nurseries a fair go, specially Thomas for there great service to the rose gardeners.


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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by muscovyduckling on 1st August 2014, 15:42

Ahh, it's all too confusing!! I have been very happy with everything I've received so far. Nothing was wobbly, nothing was broken, there were no dead bits, and as long as they break dormancy and grow, I'll continue to be happy.

I hope they are not full of viruses.

I'm going to have to leave it at that, or my brain will explode.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ausrose on 1st August 2014, 16:23

I think at times we become too technical.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by muscovyduckling on 1st August 2014, 17:46

Hahahaha, I'm not sure if it's too technical in general, or just too technical for me...
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ausrose on 1st August 2014, 21:45

Duckie may I suggest a Bex and a lie down.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ozeboy on 2nd August 2014, 10:37

Doug, I liked your Miniature Rose article in the NSW Rose.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by muscovyduckling on 2nd August 2014, 11:14

Haha, good advice as always Doug!
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ausrose on 2nd August 2014, 20:16

Bruce the research for the article was very enlightening and I am glad you enjoyed what resulted. At the moment I am researching floribundas for the next magazine. If any one would like a copy of the magazine in which the miniature article appeared send me a PM giving me your email address and I will email you a copy.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by Ozeboy on 4th August 2014, 10:00

Doug, I'll look forward to reading your next article on Floribundas. Some time back I bought some of the old HT's and floribundas to grow and see what the old hybridisers used. They turned out to be quite ordinary and wondered why they used some except that they did make hips. I'm going to get rid of most but 'Floradora' and 'Laurent Carle' will remain.

Please excuse the ' and " which came about through corresponding with a heritage rose researcher who uses the ' before and after a name when the name is correct and " before and after when the name or identity might be incorrect.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by dannyboy on 8th August 2014, 11:29

Got my order from Thomas always impressed with there rose quality.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 8th August 2014, 16:09

What did you get Danny, I am waiting on them to let me know what they have from my list
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by dannyboy on 9th August 2014, 04:21

Roseman got a few.Typhoon,Touch of Class,Midas Touch.Olympiad,Liebeszauber,June Park,Maria Callas,Gemini,Karen Julie,Summer Holiday,City of Worcester,Jardine de Bagatelle.

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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 9th August 2014, 06:57

Thanks Danny, the fragrance from them should be amazing, I had not heard of 'Liebeszauber', sounds like a good rose.
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Re: Bare Rooted Rose Quality

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