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Oct 12, 2012 11:49 AM CST
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Irises Lilies Roses Region: Southwest Gardening
I'm considering turning my seven foot tall un-branched Dr Huey shoot (a left-over from a Memorial Day that expired two years ago) into a tree rose by grafting something to the end of it. One idea is Paul Noel (sold to me as Paul Tanson) or Francoise Juranville. Problem is that while these grow well in my garden, they have been a little shy in the bloom department. I'd like to have something with a touch of weeping habit, long stems with flowers all along them, not just at the ends of the canes. A light color would be good: white, pale pink, or even pale apricot. Repeat is preferred, but not necessary. Smallish flowers are probably better than huge ones. Fragrance is not terribly important since this is in a location that will soon require a skyhook to access.

Any ideas?
When you dance with nature, try not to step on her toes.
Oct 12, 2012 12:38 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Steve - Every time I have a Dr. Huey that takes over, the canes are always so wobbly that I wouldn't dare to even think about trying to graft something onto the end of it. Maybe yours are sturdier than mine, but the thickest I've seen a Dr. Huey on any of mine (I always either shovel-prune or rip off the Dr. Huey part off), was only about 3/4" thick and extremely wavy, like my Austrian Copper. Now the canes on my climbing Orange Velvet.. those are some THICK trunks!
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)!
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Oct 12, 2012 1:54 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
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I have a couple of tree roses using Dr Huey as roostock but the "trunks" are something else grafted to it and then the real rose on top. A possible weepy repeat bloomer that comes to mind might be Kathleen but she may not like your winters.
Oct 12, 2012 3:47 PM CST
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Irises Lilies Roses Region: Southwest Gardening
I like the idea of Kathleen! Suddenly Prosperity, Moonlight, Danae and Lyda Rose spring to mind, too. And ... hmm... Darlow's Enigma? It has the advantage of being in my garden already, but I think the blossoms are too small individually for this project. There's some shade in this spot so a hybrid musk or polyantha might make the most sense. It seems to me that the multiflora heritage of hybrid musks ought to protect them a bit from our winters. I think that all my hybrid musk failures here - and there have been many of them - have started with dry roots. Or occasionally with nibbling animals. In this case the rootstock will have a four year head-start and the working parts will be too high even for deer to touch. Marie Pavie has proven cold hardy here, but has been having some difficulty with dry roots, too. I think there is a chance of success...

This Dr Huey cane is ramrod straight and quite vertical with no branches until well over 6 feet and - I don't know how this is possible - no leaves until after the branches. It sounds like I will want to add some additional support to it if I'm to keep it for this purpose. It's in a location where a four foot high support would be completely invisible from most observation points. A five ft support would be unobtrusive, especially if the whole weeping thing worked. So I'm not terribly concerned with the support part of the equation. (Maybe I should be...)

Is there any reason to believe that Dr Huey will be incapable of doing the balance of the job: conveying nutrients up and down the long stem? Or that it will be worse at it than some other 'trunk-stock' once the mechanical support question is resolved? Somehow I cannot quite wrap my mind around a scheme that depends on two grafts to work; my reservations about growing roses that depend on one budding operation are only now beginning to be overcome.

I was going to ask what rootstock is normally used for this. Then I looked it up. Evidently some rose firms use Dr. Huey for this purpose. Some firms use De la Grifferie as the "inner stock" the part between the roots and the top graft. For a moment I worried that most "tree roses" are much shorter than this; but then I recalled that David Austin complained once that "standards" - as he calls them - deserve to be five, or six feet tall, not the usual three or four. Since I know now that DA uses Dr Huey for the purpose, I think I've learned enough to believe that the project is theoretically possible. Now I have some decisions to make and some skills to learn...

Please do jump in with more ideas for roses (Cecile Brunner, Claire Matin, Clotilde Soupert, Felicite et Perpetue, Aimee Vibert, Boule de Niege ... ) And with other tips for success. There's a sense in which I have four years' time invested in this particular root system and I'd love to get some payoff for my patience (or laziness, as it were.)
When you dance with nature, try not to step on her toes.
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