The Q&A Archives: New growth on roses frozen

Question: My David Austin rose has some damage from several nights of freezing weather after the new growth had come out. Should I prune this off? If so, how far back should I prune?

Answer: I would wait until you are certain the freezing weather is past, this is such an odd spring! (The damaged portions can help protect the remainder should there be yet another cold spell.) Then trim off as needed. Where to cut will depend how badly damaged the tips are. Soft and mushy tissue can be removed, and dried foliage can be removed. Be patient before cutting into the canes as they may leaf out again. Cut back to live wood where there the outside is firm and smooth, the cane is supple, there is green inside the bark, and the buds are plump and firm. With roses you should also try to cut just above a healthy bud that faces the way you want to shrub to grow in future, in other words use the "opportunity" to do some of your annual pruning.

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